Bapi Sen was not just his colleague, but also a role model. Less than a month after Bapi’s brave act on the last night of 2002, Jamal Hussain Chowdhury took on a gang of armed goons to protect his family and neighbours late on Tuesday. The sergeant is now battling for life in M.R. Bangur Hospital.
Hopelessly outnumbered, Jamal was mercilessly beaten up, and slashed with choppers, by the raiders, while trying to resist their midnight looting spree in Bhangore, near the Bantala leather complex. According to the police, the dacoits also fired at Jamal’s brother, Kutubuddin, and other family members. Kutubuddin was admitted to a hospital in a critical condition.
Deb Kumar Ganguly, superintendent of police, South 24-Parganas, said a group of 20-30 goons went on a nightlong looting spree in Bhangore on Tuesday. They fled with valuables worth several lakhs, after raiding 10 houses. At least 15 residents were injured when the miscreants started firing and hurling bombs indiscriminately, before fleeing in a Tata-407 Matador.
An officer of the East Traffic Guard, where Jamal is posted, said the 33-year-old sergeant returned home as usual on Tuesday after duty. According to witnesses, he and his brother were the only ones to put up a fight against the armed assailants.
“The attack took place when we were sleeping. The dacoits surrounded our houses silently. I woke up when they started breaking down the doors of my neighbours,” said one of the victims of the raid.
According to the police, Jamal and his brother came out of their house when they heard gunshots. First in the line of fire was Fazrul Rehman, CPM’s branch secretary, and his brother Kabir Ahmed. “Jamal found four armed men standing guard outside his house. He and Kutubuddin pounced on them. In the scuffle, one of the goons fired at Kutubuddin and attacked Jamal with a chopper,” said an officer of Bhangore police station. As both brothers slumped to the ground, bleeding, the goons looted their house of ornaments, cash and valuables, but left Jamal’s Calcutta Police motorcycle alone. No arrest has so far been made.