Calcutta, Feb. 7: The young man walked up to his friend, pulled out a revolver and shot him dead — all for Rs 49.
They were childhood chums; but his friend had called him a “cheat”.
Eighteen-year-old Pappi Jaiswara had been smarting since Satinder Ram, a BA (Hons) student of a city-based college, called him a cheat for not returning the change of Rs 50 he had borrowed to buy a Re 1 ticket to a quiz contest.
The two had picked up a fight last Monday. This morning, around 11, when Satinder was chatting with friends at the Bally jute mill grounds in Howrah, a few blocks from his residence, Pappi came up to him, pulled out a revolver, pressed it against his head and pulled the trigger.
Witnesses said Pappi walked off brandishing the crude revolver after killing his friend and neighbour.
Local residents, who watched in horror but did not try to stop Pappi out of fear, said as both were good friends, no one asked questions when Pappi came looking for Satinder this morning.
“He was also carrying crude bombs in his hands which he threatened to lob at us. So we were all very scared,” one witness told police.
Additional superintendent of police (north) Lakshmi Singh, who reached the spot after the murder, said he was told by the dead boy’s parents as well as his friends that the genesis of the killing lay in Satinder calling Pappi a cheat.
“This sounds difficult to believe, but apparently Pappi had felt humiliated and slighted by the remarks of his friend and decided to take revenge. Our investigations have also revealed that Pappi, of late, had been hanging around with local hoodlums and may have got the revolver from one of them. But Pappi has no previous criminal record,” Singh said.
Satinder’s father Dehri Ram was a shattered man. He recalled hearing his son telling Pappi “not to mix with these hoodlums” and concentrate on studies.
“I am shocked that Pappi could have killed my son over a dispute over such a paltry amount despite being such good friends. Perhaps, Pappi didn’t return the money because his family is going through a difficult time,” he said.
The police raided several places in and around Bally but till late in the night had not found Pappi.