Ashoke Sen, victim of the Tehatta police firing, was cremated at Nabadwip Swashan Ghat in Nadia early on Thursday morning. Sen was not a protester and got caught up in the violence.
The deceased was a wood trader and is survived by two sons, Amit and Arun, and wife Sandhya. Ashoke’s elder son Amit (19) was forced to quit his education after passing his Madhyamik examination, due to his family’s financial crisis. His brother Arun is a student in Class 9 at Tehatta High School.
“My husband would always stay away from politics. He had gone to buy vegetables from the market. At that time police fired at home. My husband was innocent, he wasn’t a protestor,” Sandhya said.
The victim’s elderly mother, Bimala Sen, said, “I have two sons and one daughter. Ashoke was the eldest. My daughter Anjali, who is now married and lives in Krishnanagar, used to come every year to give Bhai Phonta to Ashoke. She talked to her brother just a few days ago, now she’s lost her brother just before Bhai Phonta.”
Sources said that the Bhai Phonta festival was cheerless for the people of Tehatta, which is still gripped by tension.
“Ashoke was a cheerful person. He was a great fan of Bollywood actor Chunky Panday. So, we called him Chunky Kaka,” said Gobinda Gopal Ghosh, a villager said.
Kajal Sen, Ashoke’s nephew, said, “Police brought my uncle’s body home on Wednesday night, around 10.30 pm.
“But two and a half hours later they took my uncle’s body away, along with his sons and a few relatives to Nabadwip Swashanghat for the cremation. Nine police vehicles came with the body.”
“The police refused my aunt’s wish. She wanted to take a picture with her husband’s lifeless body. But cops opposed it,” he added.
“If the body was kept for long another problem would be created. The political parties would try to do politics over the dead body. The local people also create problems,” said a senior district police official.