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Spine bombs couldn’t bend

Amit Chakraborty

Suri, July 29: The CPM leader whom sub-inspector Amit Chakraborty saved at the cost of his life today told a tale of unwavering commitment to duty and courage under fire.

“I am indebted to him (the police officer). He gave up his life saving me and my family. Had he not been there guarding my house on that day, my family and I could have been killed,” said Moqtul Hossain, a CPM zonal committee member now on the run.

Hossain was speaking over phone from an undisclosed location as he has been named in the FIR related to the murder of Chakraborty.

The CPM leader, who said he had been framed, may have a degree of self-interest in portraying an account that projects him in good light. But at least one police constable who accompanied the officer corroborated Hossain’s account of how the sub-inspector responded to threats by the crowd.

Hossain said a police team led by the sub-inspector had stopped a group of around 40 suspected Trinamul Congress workers from bombing his house on June 3 evening following a dispute over digging a pond in Dubrajpur under the rural job scheme.

“A clash (between CPM and Trinamul activists) was going on in our village. I was at home with my wife and son. Around 8pm, a police force led by sub-inspector Chakraborty arrived at the village. When the sub-inspector saw a group of Trinamul workers marching towards my house with bombs, he tried to stop them,” Hossain said, adding that he saw the events through a crack in a window.

“The officer had a revolver in his right hand and a flashlight in his left. He and around 10 other policemen armed with rifles and batons tried to chase away the attackers. The mob initially retreated but then they tried to intimidate the policemen by hurling two bombs, which exploded near the policemen,” Hossain said.

A constable who was part of the team said Chakraborty suffered splinter injuries. “When the mob hurled bombs at us, Sir (Chakraborty) told us not to be afraid. He told us if we get scared, we would not be able to stop them from attacking the CPM leader’s house. We warned the mob that if they came forward, we would be compelled to open fire,” the constable said.

Hossain said: “Some people in the crowd shouted at the sub-inspector: ‘Tora durey shorey ja noiley boma marbo (you people move away or else we will hurl bombs at you)’.

“The officer shouted back: ‘Ekhane thakata amar duty toder duty noy tora bhag (It is my duty to stay here, not yours. You leave).’ A few seconds later, I heard two deafening explosions in front of my house and the sub-inspector screaming in pain.”

Fifty-five days later, Chakraborty died in a Durgapur hospital yesterday.

The CPM leader said he would visit Chakraborty’s house in Hooghly’s Chinsurah if he got a chance. “I have been framed in a false case. But when I get the opportunity to come out of hiding, I want to meet his family members and tell them that I will be ever grateful to him for saving my life and that of my family.”