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Loner in freedom and captivity
- Neither visitors nor attorney for Halder in custody

Washington, May 12: No one picks up the phone at his home in Cleveland’s Little Italy. No one has visited him in custody.

Biswanath Halder is proving to be every bit the loner that his neighbours said he is — someone who would walk down the middle of the road to avoid talking to people.

Cleveland Police official Donna Bell told reporters that Halder, the Indian-American who terrorised a university campus in Cleveland on Friday and shot dead one student, has not had any visitors in custody. Nor has he hired an attorney.

Halder, who claims to have graduated in electrical engineering from Calcutta University and trained in the Indian Army, is being held in the city jail in Cleveland. Investigations by the police have revealed that he lived alone in an apartment and apparently had no family.

Charges against the 62-year-old Halder have not been filed at the time of writing, but this could happen late on Monday as soon as police finish gathering evidence from the Peter B. Lewis Building of Case Western Reserve University where the shootings took place. The building has been cordoned off.

Sandeep Ahuja, an Indian student who had been caught up in the shooting, said on the day after: “I can’t believe how calm it is.”

Ahuja, who will graduate next week, said he stayed in contact with friends trapped inside the building during the standoff through text messages on his pager.

“I love this building and I’ll always come back here,” he said, dismissing questions if the incident would spoil his experience at Case Western.

Last night, about 400 students, faculty members and administrators of the university gathered for a prayer and vigil for Norman Wallace, a graduate student who was Halder’s victim.

Bishop Prince Moultry of the Intouch Christian Center Moultry told those present: “It (attending the service) is your way of saying, ‘We love you and the dream will never die.’”

Earlier on Sunday, a youth group from a nearby church laid a wreath outside the ill-fated building for Wallace. About 10 young people held hands as they prayed.

Two other victims of Halder, a 32-year-old man shot in the buttocks and a 46-year-old woman shot in her collar bone, who were released from hospital, are in a stable condition.

Halder, a native of Calcutta who emigrated to the US in 1969, recently lost an appeal of a lawsuit he filed against a university computer lab employee, Shawn Miller, accusing him of deleting information from his website.

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