Mainak was shy and brilliant student: Teachers and friends recall UCLA shooter

  • Mohammad Asif, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jun 04, 2016 07:32 IST
This undated photo shows Ashley Hasti (left), partner of Mainak Sarkar who police say carried out a murder-suicide at the University of California, Los Angeles on Wednesday. (AP via Facebook)


A shy and brilliant student who was seen playing cricket in the neighboourhood grounds when he was not studying — that’s how Mainak Sarkar was described by his teachers and neighbours in Durgapur where he used to live.

Sarkar shot dead his former college professor at the University of California in Los Angeles (ULCA) before taking his own life. He had also earlier murdered his wife as he had reportedly worked off a ‘kill list’.

“We have never seen him even shout or hit anybody in his adolescence when people tend to get impatient. How can we believe that he pulled the trigger on two persons — his partner and professor — before ending his own life,” said Sarkar’s childhood neighbour Jhantu Maiti.

Read | Woman killed by UCLA gunman Mainak Sarkar was his estranged wife

A boy walks past the main gate of St Michael's School in Durgapur, where Mainak Sarkar was a student. (Reuters)

“He was a brilliant student, who was well mannered and generally kept to himself,” Gautam Biswas, who used to teach Sarkar in Bidhanchandra Institute, said.

Sarkar studied in this school from classes 7 to 12. Biswas, who gave him private tuitions at home, still feels proud of his student, though since Thursday evening when TV screens began airing the shocking news of the shootout, that pride has been tempered with incredulity.

Read | UCLA shooter Mainak Sarkar had planned to kill another professor: Police

A man enters a residential building in Durgapur where Mainak Sarkar used to stay. (Reuters)

“It is impossible to believe that he could do this. I know him well, as he also came to my house to study, and we spent a number of hours of the day together. I never got any inkling of such violent passions in him,” Biswas keeps shaking his head. Biswas said he had lost connection with his meritorious student after he went to IIT-Kharagpur.

Equally shocked is Maiti, who runs a fast food outlet opposite St Xavier’s College in Durgapur.

“We were not only neighbours but also fast friends. We used to play cricket in the local fields. Sarkar used to bowl and bat well,” Maiti recalled.

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