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Bullets none wants to talk about

Calcutta, Oct. 10: Police hotly deny it. Sujay Chakraborty, Calcutta police chief, calls it “all bunk” and a “figment of the imagination”.

But senior police officers who should know say it did happen. Taking no chances after terrorists shot policemen in front of the American Centre, commandos, now posted there, emptied their rifles after they saw “suspicious movements” in the bushes opposite the building early yesterday morning.

According to these officials, the police fired several rounds on being alerted that the spy cameras mounted on the premises of the American Centre had picked up “shadowy figures and a barrel-like object” in the thickets across the road. The number of rounds fired is unclear, but a thorough search thereafter revealed nothing. “Apparently the inspector on duty did not want to take any chances and ordered the firing,” an officer said.

What Shivaji Ghosh, the DC, headquarters, is willing to admit is that the spy cameras had picked up “two shadowy figures and some movement in the bushes”. “We did not want to take any chances and, therefore, reinforcements from Lalbazar rushed to the spot,” Ghosh said.

But, insisted Ghosh, not a single shot was fired. “If we had fired so many shots, how is it that not a single empty shell was found'” he asked. “Surely, the shells would be lying around.”

Not necessarily, say some officials. Much before daybreak, the bushes were cleared and the area scoured.

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