It’s been nearly 48 hours since the last time Toofan Ghosh or his family came out of their home at Tehatta, Nadia. Ever since Wednesday morning, the family of four has been holed up in their two-room house, sleepless, wondering when they can dare to finally venture out.
Early on Wednesday morning, Sailesh, SDPO of Tehatta, fired a bullet from the terrace of his one-storey residence, killing one and severely injuring another protester. This action bred a hatred of the Ghosh family among local residents.
“I have already requested police protection and cops have been posted in the market, right in front of my house. But police cannot give me protection outside and I am compelled to stay at home,” said Ghosh, who works at a local cinema hall.
The family recollects that around 8 am on Wednesday, they suddenly heard a noise from outside. Realising that a ruckus had broken out outside, Ghosh was going to shut the main door of the building, by when the SDPO had already entered his house. “I could see he was tense and afraid. I asked him to wait on the ground floor and went inside. The mob started hurling stones at my building and suddenly I heard the sound of firing from the terrace. I came out of the room and found that the SDPO was on the terrace. I asked him to come down, not realising that the damage had already been done by then,” said Ghosh.
Ghosh and his family have been living in Nadia for more than 50 years, after migrating from Bangladesh during the Partition. Toofan constructed the building around eight year ago, and lives there with his wife Pushpa and his two sons Tapash (22) and Tanmoy (15).
However, Ghosh was brave enough to disclose to the media that he found the escape route for the SDPO from the back door of his home, through the woods and gardens of the neighbouring plots. “The SDPO waited here more nearly 90 minutes. By then news spread that his house was under attack and his son and wife were in danger. As he panicked, I asked him to take the backdoor and guided him to Sachin Nath’s location just opposite the SDPO bungalow. He could have a better view of what was happening at his home from there,” Ghosh added.
The SDPO remained at Nath’s residence for the next 30 minutes before a police team rescued him and took him back to his bungalow - two and a half hours after the incident initiated. “Well, the SDPO and his family are safe. Maybe they will move to some other place, after seeking a transfer. But where will we go?” Ghosh wondered aloud.