A couple of teeth cracked open 9-yr-old Bengal murder mystery
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All that the scientists at Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Kolkata, were handed over in the third week of June by the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) were four skulls and a heap of dried bones buried for over nine years.
All it took were a couple of teeth from these remains, and DNA tests, for them to conclude that these belonged to Ajoy Acharya and Swapan Singha.
Following their findings, former Left Front minister and a CPM strongman of Junglemahal in West Midnapore, Sushanta Ghosh — among the party leaders to win his seat, Garbeta, in the recent Assembly elections — was arrested yesterday. It were from near his ancestral house in Garbeta that the remains were found in June.
Family members of Acharya and Singha had long claimed that the two, who went missing in September 2002, had been killed by CPM cadres. Following recovery of the bones, Acharya's son Shyamal had filed a case against 40, including Ghosh.
"The investigators were fortunate to find a couple of teeth clinging to the two skulls that helped them in DNA matching," said a CFSL scientist. "The matching continued for nearly two months... the bone samples are still preserved in cardboard boxes."
As the scientists pointed out, while blood and tissue are easily destroyed, especially if buried for such a long time, bone remains preserved for a long period, especially teeth as bacteria cannot penetrate and destroy the DNA.
The DNA extracted from the teeth was matched with 13 blood samples provided to the CFSL Kolkata lab by those whose relatives were missing.
After the final report on the DNA samples was sent to the CID on August 8, it asked for Ghosh's police remand.