The first ever crime walking tour in the city, perhaps in the country, based on true crime stories of Calcutta between 1850s and 1890s was launched on Sunday by Heritage Walk Calcutta (HWC). A group of 20 people participated in the walk — ‘Murder and Mayhem Walk’ — which started from Poddar Court Building in central Kolkata.
The crime walk based on personal memoirs of police officers and some newspaper reports of the time uses seven stories of daring murders and heists of that period to reconstruct the crime scene of Calcutta. This period also corresponds with the establishment of the first Calcutta Police Department and also a detective department at Lalbazar due to the growing crime rates, particularly in the so-called Black Town area.
Tathagata Neogi, founder of HWC, who conducted the crime walk on Sunday, draws his inspiration from well-researched medieval crime walking tours that he took part during his university days in Exeter, UK.
Neogi said, “The walk focuses on crimes like riots, murders and white collar crimes that took place in different businesses of Burrabazar area. Some of these still remain unsolved. The most intriguing series of murders and heists that the walk covers is the story of Troilokya, a sex worker-turned-serial killer and perpetrator of a lot of other heists.” He added: “Many of the stories are based on the personal memoirs of Priyonath Mukhopadhyay, a Bengali police detective who would finally track her down.”
The walk of two and a half hours through different roads and narrow alleys of Burrabazar took the participants to different crime spots on Pollock Street, Amratolla Lane next to Bagri Market, Armenian Street, Ezra Street and Panchudhobani Lane near Jorasanko Thakurbari.
Manjira Majumdar, who took part in the walk overcoming her knee problem, came with her husband. She said, “This is a birthday gift from my daughters to their father, who is an ardent lover of crime thrillers, horror and suspense stories.” Her husband Judhajit Sarkar said: “For anyone, who loves crime thrillers and is imaginative, this walk is a must.”
Ishani Sengupta, a lawyer who came with her friend, said the walk was interesting and well-researched.
Source: Times of India