Abhi batti bujha do (Switch off the light right now).
Abhi nahin hoga, main taiyyar ho raha hoon (Not now, I am getting ready).
The quarrel between two jawans of the Eastern Frontier Rifle (EFR) started with this exchange, snowballed into fisticuffs and ended with one biting off the other's nose.
The brawl at Bhabani Bhavan that began over such a trivial matter on Wednesday night finally saw Lance Naik Bhupesh Rava pinning down Sepoy Durga Lama and biting off his nose.
Rava was arrested and a departmental prosecution initiated against him. Lama was admitted to SSKM Hospital, where he underwent surgery.
Ranvir Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (headquarters), said the ugly incident occurred around 9.30 pm at the EFR barracks in Bhabani Bhavan, under Alipore police station.
'Sepoy Lama was getting ready to join his night-shift duty, while Lance Naik Rava had just returned from work and was lying on his bed,' said Kumar.
According to the complaint lodged with Alipore police station, Lama was getting into his uniform when Rava asked him to switch off the light. 'He told me that he wanted to sleep and the light was disturbing him. I told him to wait for another five minutes while I got ready,' Lama mentioned in his statement.
But Rava was not ready to wait, and ordered: 'Do, it right now.' Lama replied that he must wait for five minutes.
That was the flashpoint. Rava got out of bed and attacked Lama. 'The duo started fighting. There was no one else in the room to stop them,' said an officer of Alipore police station.
Going by Lama's statement, he was pushed by Rava to the floor and pinned down. Before he could realise what was happening, 'Rava bit off my nose'.
Others in the barracks were alerted by Lama's cries. 'They rushed to the room to see Lama lying on the floor and Rava standing in front of him with blood-stained lips. Lama was bleeding profusely from the wound,' said the officer.
A section of officers informed Alipore police station about the bizarre barracks battle, and handed over Rava, while others rushed Lama to SSKM Hospital.
'He was screaming in pain all the way to the hospital. The wound was deep and he was bleeding continuously,' said deputy commissioner Kumar.
'Lama underwent surgery and the medical team has tried its best to stitch up a major portion of his nose that was bitten off,' said an attending doctor.