The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Silenced for daring to make a noise

Calcutta, Oct. 19: All he wanted was a bit of quiet. But they hated his guts, and silenced him for ever.

Late last night, Naresh Swarnakar’s neighbours beat him to death at Karimpur, in Nadia, for protesting against the blaring music from their tape recorder that was disturbing his son’s studies.

The entire family — including two housewives — thrashed the 60-year-old man with sticks, punched and kicked him even after he slumped to the ground bleeding.

Policemen from the nearby Karimpur police station later raided the house of the assailants and arrested the two housewives, Lakshmi Bairagya and Meena Bairagya. The other family members escaped.

“We are combing the nearby areas to track down the rest of the accused who participated in the brutal killing,” Karimpur circle inspector Nirmal Bhattacharya said.

The incident occurred at Patabuka village where the families of Swarnakar and Sushanta Bairagya have been living for the past five years. “Sushanta Bairagya purchased a cassette player a few days ago on the occasion of Durga Puja. Since then, the Bairagya family started playing the system loudly,” Bhattacharya said.

Swarnakar, a small farmer who was trying to give his son the best education he could afford, had requested Sushanta to turn down the volume. He had told his neighbours that the loud music was distracting his son, who was preparing for school examinations, and expected them to be reasonable.

When the music still blared on, Swarnakar went to their house last night and again requested his neighbours. “Instead, the Bairagya family kept playing the music loudly. Infuriated by this, Swarnakar warned Sushanta that he would inform the local police and the panchayat,” Bhattacharya said.

The warning made the Bairagyas see red. Sushanta, his two sons and their wives set upon the old man till he collapsed. When Sushanta and his sons noticed blood oozing out of Swarnakar’s face and nose, they ran away.

Hearing the commotion, Swarnakar’s family members rushed to the scene only to see him lying in a pool of blood. They rushed him to a nearby health centre where he was declared dead.

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