Two persons were killed and one was injured after a schoolteacher opened fire on a group of men who barged into her house in Kolkata in the wee hours of Monday.
The incident, suspected to be the fallout of a land dispute, took place around 4.30am on Short Street, near Kolkata’s upscale Park Street area. The deceased were identified as Piklu Acharya, 26, and Prasenjit De, 28.
Kaushik Adhya, the injured person, was rushed to SSKM Hospital in the city. Mamta Agarwal, the head of a kindergarten school, and her security guards opened fire after a group of about 20 men stormed the house, the police said. Two guns — a 9 mm pistol and a double-barrel weapon — were used in the firing. The police said the deceased succumbed to pistol shots.
Agarwal claimed both the weapons were licensed, but was unable to produce any evidence till evening. The shooting site is barely 300 metres from the official residence of the Kolkata Police commissioner.
The police arrested 12 people in connection with the incident. Agarwal and her two bodyguards — Pappu Khan and Pramod Shau — were slapped with murder charges. The intruders were charged under IPC sections dealing with trespassing and unlawful assembly, among others.
“Agarwal had a gun in her hand. CCTV footage shows that she fired at the men,” Kolkata Police deputy commissioner Pallav Kanti Ghosh said.
The police are looking into information that two local businessmen want to grab the 17-cottah land (0.3 acres) — worth around Rs. 45 crore — on which Agarwal’s house is built. She runs the kindergarten school in her house.
“I had lodged complaints with the police. I was getting threats. But no action was taken. Some people stormed my house on Monday morning. They tore my clothes and tried to throttle me,” Agarwal told a TV channel.
A group of youths scaled the walls to enter the single-storey house on Monday. They forced the security guards to open the gates.
“As the gates were opened, 13 more men including a lawyer barged in. Thereafter, Agarwal opened fire on the unarmed group,” said Murli Dhar, deputy commissioner of Kolkata Police (South). The police said Agarwal was expecting the attack. She had hired the security guards two days ago.