A family living in fear seven weeks after the murder of its eldest son versus the might of a local political leader and also police apathy. The battlelines in Kidderpore could not be drawn more cruelly.
Bikram Jha, 20, lost his life on October 21 after standing up to local goons over Kali puja subscription. For his family, the nightmare just refuses to end, with the killers hounding them at every step.
The Jhas on Friday — the day after their plight prompted Calcutta High Court to demand an explanation from police — alleged that the two accused still at large are Congress activists and members of Adi Shakti Club, of which local Congress MLA and councillor Ram Pyare Ram is president.
“Ram Pyare Ram called me to his office three days ago and asked me to withdraw the complaint against Dipu and Bhola. He promised that nobody would threaten us after that,” said Dhaneswar Jha, Bikram’s father.
When contacted, Ram Pyare Ram told Metro: “Yes, I am president of Adi Shakti Cub... But how am I linked to the incident'”
The MLA refused to comment when asked whether he had told Jha to withdraw the complaint against the duo.
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s people-friendly police force, which had initially refused to lodge the FIR against the four accused following political intervention, has turned a blind eye and done nothing to protect the family.
Till late on Friday, deputy commissioner (port) Rajiv Mishra was “in a meeting” and could not be contacted.
J. Dholey, officer-in-charge, South Port police station, said: “I do not want to comment, as raids are on to arrest the duo.”
Dhaneswar Jha rubbished the police claim: “Dipu and Bhola are moving around freely in the Bhukailash area but police refuse to arrest them. The duo has been threatening to kill me and my family members if I do not withdraw the case against them.”
An employee of the Nepal Consulate office on Diamond Harbour Road, Jha lives on Karl Marx Sarani, in the South Port police station area, with wife Mamata, 16-year-old son Ganpat and 14-year-old daughter Kiran Kumari.
“They have been following me on a motorcycle and hurling threats. We have decided to stay indoors. I have forbidden my daughter from going to school and I am not going to work myself. What can we do'” asked Jha.
Last week, Jha had gone to South Port police station and narrated his story. “The officer-in-charge tried to convince me to withdraw the complaint against Bhola and Dipu as two others — Pankaj Gupta and Rajlal Srivastava — had already been arrested. I was shocked and so, moving high court was the only option left to seek justice,” Jha said.
On October 18, members of Adi Shakti Club had assaulted Bikram with iron clasps wrapped around their fists. They hit him repeatedly on the forehead and fled after he slumped to the ground.
Bikram succumbed to his injuries on October 21.