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KOLKATA/BENGALURU: A city chartered accountant flew to Bengaluru last weekend, murdered his estranged wife at her Whitefield home and then returned to Kolkata, where he shot dead his mother-in-law and then killed himself at an upscale residential complex in Phoolbagan on Monday evening.
The murder-murder-suicide came in the middle of acrimonious divorce proceedings that might have involved a dispute over property, cops said after an initial probe. Both Amit and Shilpi Agarwal were chartered accountants and were living separately — husband in Kolkata and wife in Bengaluru — for the last two years after the marriage turned sour. A 10-year-old son survived the grisly events of the past three days; Amit brought him back from Bengaluru on Monday and left him at his brother’s residence in Kolkata before heading to Phoolbagan, cops said.
Amit knocked on his in-laws’ door, on the second floor of Tower B of Rameshwaram Apartments — a residential complex on Ramakrishna Samadhi Road — around 5.30pm on Monday. Shilpi’s parents, 70-year-old Subhas and 62-year-old Lalita Dhandhania, were there and allowed Amit in, cops learnt from their neighbours.
Some time later, however, neighbours heard heated arguments that continued for some time. Neighbours later told cops that the debate “appeared to be” over some property documents that Amit wanted the Dhandhanias to sign.
Neighbours heard the first gunshot a little before 6.30pm, following which Subhas ran out of his flat, bolted the door from outside and took refuge inside his next-door neighbour’s apartment. Cops were called and they arrived a few minutes later and entered the Dhandhanias’ home, where they found Lalita’s and Amit’s lifeless bodies. “The mother-in-law’s body was lying on the floor and Amit’s body was on a bed,” a senior police officer said, adding that cops had recovered the revolver that Amit had used to kill his mother-in-law and himself.
“We recovered a suicide note from the flat,” joint commissioner of police (crime) Murlidhar Sharma said. “It said that he had killed his wife in Bengaluru. We contacted cops there and the Whitefield deputy commissioner of police confirmed that Shilpi’s decomposed body was recovered from her home,” he added.
Cops in Bengaluru told TOI that Shilpi’s body was recovered from Brigade Metropolis apartment in Mahadevapura, Whitefield Road, around 9pm on Monday. The flat bore the signs of a fight, officials said, adding that many items were scattered in the hall. “It indicates that Shilpi had opposed Amit’s entry and there seemed to have been a fight near the entrance itself. There seems to have been another scuffle near the kitchen, with smashed glass tumblers and damaged utensils lying around. The murder occurred near the bedroom,” an investigating officer said.
Amit would visit Bengaluru when there were court hearings, cops said quoting neighbours, and most of these visits would end in fights. Deputy commissioner of police (Whitefield) MN Anuchet said investigators would speak to neighbours to learn more about the couple.
Officials in Kolkata said Amit returned from Bengaluru with his son on Monday. “He went to his brother’s residence and left his 10-year-old son with him before starting out for Phoolbagan,” an officer said, adding that Amit and Shilpi had married in 2005.
Cops in Kolkata have got in touch with Shilpi’s brother to help the probe. “It is important to find out what transpired immediately before the murder-suicide at the Phoolbagan flat. Did Amit divulge anything there? We are trying to get these details from Subhas,” an official said.
A police team has left for Uttarpara Station Road to question Amit’s relatives. Cops are also probing from where Amit got the six-chamber revolver.