| on guard: Bhattacharjee
Behrampore, June 19: Sambhu, the bull — the stocky male with stubby horns who goes wild every time a VIP comes calling here — was again in his elements today.
When chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was in town to attend the meeting he convened with district officials over the spate of child deaths in parts of Murshidabad in the past few weeks, Sambhu was under surveillance.
A couple of policemen were standing guard at Barrack Square here, with Sambhu chewing cud in a roadside field when Bhattacharjee was taking to task the health officials at the circuit house not very far away.
The bull saw red as a jeep packed with policemen patrolling the area screeched to a halt nearby. Catching his “guards” unawares, Sambhu, roused from his somnolent state into a raging blur of sheer power, butted the front of the jeep.
It could have toppled but did not. The police jeep was a big one and full of armed personnel. The raging bull was reined in after it made futile attempts to smash the huge mass of framed metal. The policemen’s colleagues came rushing from all conceivable corners, screaming and waving lathis and rifles.
They managed to chase Sambhu back into the field. Not taking any chances, the police raised the number of personnel keeping vigil on the animal to six.
They were given strict instructions: “In no way should Sambhu block the chief minister’s convoy.” The convoy of red-light cars was scheduled to leave from here at 4.30 pm.
The bull has been terrorising Barrack Square for the past four years and his “allergy” to cars with red lights on the hood has prompted the district police to take precaution whenever a VIP comes to town.
On January 22, Sambhu was similarly “guarded” while Jyoti Basu spent the day here.
“He does not even spare me, he tries to block the road whenever I drive down from my bungalow, which is close by. I have asked the animal resources department to do something about him,” said district magistrate Manoj Panth.
“We issue an alert whenever a VVIP comes here. Let us see what we do with him,” said the superintendent of police.
The only time Sambhu was hauled up for his misdemeanours was when he accomplished the feat of overturning the Maruti Omni of former municipality chairman Akbar Ali.
He was confined in a garage for a week as punishment but released later by the civic officials.