Telling a visitor he cannot meet the chief minister carries the risk of being hammered on the head, literally.
That’s something the babus of Writers’ Buildings learnt the hard way on Monday, with junior clerk Alok Ghosh having to be rushed to Calcutta Medical College with a serious head injury.
In a bizarre incident, around 4.15pm, Ghosh was hit on the head with a hammer by a visitor from Krishnagar, later identified as Animesh Mishra, 45. Police suspect he is “mentally unstable”.
The incident has raised questions about security in the state secretariat.
The kurta-clad Mishra entered Writers’ through gate 1A, near St. Andrew’s Church, meant for people who want to visit the ground-floor receiving section of the chief minister’s office. The receiving section is manned by clerical staff, who receive complaints and grievances in writing.
Gate 1A is manned by police personnel, who let people in after verifying that they have a complaint or grievance in writing. Visitors’ bags are supposed to be checked there.
Around 3.30pm, Mishra, with a hammer in his jhola, went and joined the queue to meet a clerk. After about half- an-hour, when he reached Ghosh, he said: “I will meet the chief minister.”
Ghosh urged him to furnish a written complaint. “Ï have been visiting Writers’ since 2006 for the same problem and have submitted many letters in vain. This time I will meet the CM,” insisted Mishra, who claimed to be facing some problems with his ancestral property at Krishnagar.
As Ghosh tried to explain that it was not possible for him to meet Mamata Banerjee, Mishra became agitated. “Some of us were alerted by the altercation but before we realised what was happening, this man pulled a hammer out of his bag and hit the clerk on the head. There was a thud and then he fell to the floor, bleeding,” said a policeman on duty near the gate.
While Ghosh was rushed to the hospital for immediate medical attention, Mishra was detained and later booked under Section 326 of the IPC. “We have charged him with voluntarily causing grievous hurt with dangerous weapons,” said an officer of Hare Street police station where a case has been started. Mishra will be produced at Bankshal court on Tuesday.
A team of officers from Lalbazar later conducted a recce of the entry points at Writers’.