Local people battled with the police on Tuesday evening in Jadavpur after a 40-year-old man killed himself in the afternoon. The motive: a court verdict in a property dispute had gone in favour of his opponents.
Police said Narayan Mukherjee died almost instantly after consuming poison. Two of his family members were arrested for abetment to suicide on the basis of the note he had left behind. Another three, all neighbours, were arrested for their alleged involvement in a string of attacks on policemen who reached the neighbourhood —Vidyasagar Colony — upon hearing the news of tension building up over the death.
Men from Jadavpur police station and the Rapid Action Force (RAF) resorted to a lathicharge to repel the unprovoked attacks on them by some local people. Senior officers, including deputy superintendent of police (town) Subhankar Chatterjee, went to the spot to bring the situation under control.
According to Chatterjee, for the past two years, the Mukherjees had been fighting it out over distribution of property. After a prolonged hearing, on February 26, the court gave its verdict, which apparently upset Narayan Mukherjee but was welcomed by his brothers and sisters.
Police said Mukherjee felt himself cheated and held his relatives responsible for it. “On February 26, when Mukherjee came to know of the court’s decision, he stopped eating and asked his wife to take away everything from his room,” Chatterjee said.
On Tuesday, his wife Sanchita, alias Tuhina, had gone to fetch her daughter Durga from school at Bejoygarh. After returning home, she knocked several times on the door but got no response. When it was broken open with the help of family members and neighbours, Mukherjee was found lying unconscious on the floor. He was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A note was found beside his body, which mentioned the names of his younger brother and his wife, who, he alleged, had hatched a conspiracy to deprive him of his legitimate share of the property. When a strong contingent of police led by Chatterjee arrived, some local people started throwing stones at them. Police tried to drive them away. They resorted to a lathicharge and called in the RAF. Policemen were taken by surprise when stones began to fly from a house close to Mukherjee’s. Police entered the house and arrested three persons.