Consolations from ministers, the mayor and the commissioner of police did little to allay the grief that has overcome the family of Tapas Choudhury, the sub-inspector who was gunned down at Harimohan Ghose College in Garden Reach.
Minati, Choudhury’s wife, and their daughter Tanushree, a student of Vivekananda College and 15-year-old son Tamal, a Class 8 student of Archya Vidyamandir in Behala, as well as his sister Trishna Nag grieved publicly at Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) and refused to let cops take the body away for post mortem examinations.
The family very visibly upset and demanded answers from the officials present, including industries minister Partha Chatterjee, municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim and city police chief RK Pachnanda. They said that Choudhury could easily have been saved had the forces taken prompt action right after the shooting.
Over three hours, officials assured the family that the culprit would be shortly arrested and finally, at 3.40 pm, they allowed the body to be taken away to the Kantapukur police morgue, amid tight security.
Officers in charge of nearly all police stations in Chetla, New Alipore and Ekbalpore also rushed to the spot.“Now there is no one to earn for the family. My father was the sole bread-earner. He was anxious before leaving for duty at the college. His duty was on pool car at Esplanade. Why did he kill my father who had done him no harm,” said a shell-shocked Tanushree. Tamal was seen sitting in a corner of the outdoor patient department (OPD) reception counter at the emergency room. He rushed to the hospital, still in his school uniform, and seemed speechless with shock while he mother cried in a small room beside the reception area.
Ajoy Biswas, a neighbour of the Choudhury’s, said, “We live close to their residence. We still can’t believe that Tapasbabu was shot dead. We can’t stop his wife crying; she is totally shattered. This was his first outdoor duty since he was sent to the special branch.
“He will be cremated will full state honours. Our government will give all help to the bereaved family,” Partha Chatterjee told the media.Tahir Hossain, a 26-yearold electrician, claimed it was Moktar, a Congress-backed strongman who incited the violence on campus.
Hossain, a resident of Garden Reach, was admitted to the hospital after receiving injuries. “I came to the college for repair work around 11 am. Suddenly, I heard shouts as well as gunfire. Later, I learnt that some people, led by Moktar, were running riot on campus. They beat me up and injured me on my palm,” Hossain told HT.