KOLKATA: After one of the rare detections in a double murder case at a hotel in Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road near Park Street, the sleuths of anti-homicide squad say they might have a serial killer in their hands who not only made a profession by drugging and cheating people, but even "experimenting" with the various methods and tool that can be employed to commit the "perfect murder."

Investigators have come to know that the accused Ajay Pandit (24) had indeed also murdered his brother-in-law Pancham Pandit just days before June 30 when he murdered his wife Komal (22) and his sister-in-law's daughter Nandini Pandit (8). However, they are not sure where he committed it.

"Ajay had initially told us that Pancham had left for Delhi two months ago. Later, he changed his statement to inform us that he killed his brother-in-law in Ranchi. But now, in a new statement, he has claimed that he killed him at a hotel room in Burdwan," said a top investigating officer from the homicide squad of detective department.

The cops though face a peculiar problem even after the revelation that has led to questions if the victim indeed is Pancham as claimed by Ajay or a fourth person whose identity is yet to be established. "The photo of the victim taken by Burdwan police from the hotel room apparently does not match the face of Pancham. At least, that is what his family claims. Neither is the victim's family too eager to pursue the case. Yet, every detail provided by Ajay to us regarding this murder matches with the findings of Burdwan police. This includes the manner in which a piece of Gamchha was used to throttle him and the exact in which the victim was found in the room," said the officer.

Sources say the accused had set out for Kolkata along with Komal, Nandini and Pancham. They first reached Asansol where Komal and Nandini put up in a different hotel. The accused drugged Pancham while sharing g a drink and killed him. The next morning, he claimed that Pancham had to return to Jasidih on important work and that it was important they reached Kolkata on time. They thus took a bus to Kolkata from Asansol.

Joint CP (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh said that the accused had used a fake voter ID - just like Kolkata - to check in to the Burdwan hotel. "We have found that he was involved in at least 25 cases of drugging in which Ajay was involved. He is continuing to mislead us even after a week in our custody," said Ghosh.

The cops said the accused Ajay has claimed that he was "inspired" by south Indian films. "He claimed that he was a fan of B-grade south Indian movies. It was there that he got the idea of electrocuting his victims," said a senior officer.
Police said that they are yet to give clean chit to Ajay's sister-in-law Pratima in the double murder. "Our team will be going back to Jasidih to question Pratima. We will ask her what she has done to try and trace her husband who has been missing for the past two months," said an officer.

Though a Patna resident, he married Komal thinking that he would get a part of the property. "But he came to know that it was his sister-in-law Pratima who was getting the king's share as she was the elder one. It was then that he stuck an illicit relationship with Pratima claiming he was in love with her," said a source. Cops say Pratima's brother Pancham was asked to join his family in Jasidih but then he disappeared mysteriously around the month of April. Sources said the accused had also drawn up elaborate arrangements to murder even Komal for which "preparations" was at an advanced stage.

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SMS helped crack hotel murders in Kolkata

KOLKATA: The solving of the hotel double murder is exactly the kind of crime detection that once made Kolkata Police' s detective department the stuff of legend.

Police did not have a shred of evidence to begin with. The killer — named by police as Ajay Pandit — had meticulously wiped all his traces from the hotel room where a woman and a child were found drugged and electrocuted. The identify proof he had given during check-in turned out to be fake. There was nothing to identify him, or the victims.

All police had was a hunch that the killer was an electrician — from the way he tied up both victims with copper wire to create a ' perfect circuit' . Police took it as a challenge. A team of 50 crack investigators from the DD and Park Street Police was assembled. The fake voter ID, which seemed like a dead end, gave the first clue. Park Street police tracked down the original owner, Sambhu Kumar Gupta, in Bihar. DC-south Murlidhar personally spoke with him. Gupta said that someone had lured him to Jasadih on May 17, promising a better job, but drugged him and stole his mobile phone and voter ID.

" When Murlidhar asked him to identity him from the hotel CCTV, he picked out the attacker. It became clear the attacker and the killer were the same man," said joint CP-crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh. Police started tracking the number from where the call was made to Gupta. " Surveillance revealed that the caller was using 26 SIM cards, each belonging to people who were drugged in trains or hotels. We went to Jamui, Jasadih, Nalanda, Jhajja and Patna, but ended up in blind alleys," said an officer.

The big break came on Thursday morning. A DTH installation message landed on Pandit's mobile, giving cops a location — Jasadih. Police realized that it was the same number to which a call had been made from Kolkata two months ago — it was a landlord on Hospital Road asking for his rent.

Police rushed to the DTH shop in Jasadih. The owner turned out to be a Bengali and he was eager to help. He helped identify Pandit's rented flat. The double-murder suspect was stunned when police cuffed him, say sources.

Pandit's interrogation has revealed that he married Komal six months ago but fell in love with her elder sister Pratima - the mother of little Nandini, who was murdered, and an infant.

Two months later, he moved both his wife and sister-in-law from Jamui to Jasidih. His brother-in-law accompanied them but went missing two months ago. Ajay claims he is in Delhi but there is yet no proof of this.

On June 30, Ajay told Pratima that he would take Komal and Nandini on a trip to Kolkata. They came by bus and checked into a hotel. Ajay has told police that he got the idea of the murder plot from a south Indian movie. He returned to Jasidih, believing he wouldn't be caught. " We are ascertaining the exact role of Pratima in the murders," said Ghosh. Police say Pandit was the ringleader of a gang that drugged and robbed train passengers and tourists.

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