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Constable Chodup Lepcha’s family won’t get insurance benefit

Officers said Lepcha’s family would get the death benefits of a “temporary staff”, not a permanent employee

Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 13.06.22, 07:05 AM
Chodup Lepcha

Chodup Lepcha

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The body of Chodup Lepcha, the Kolkata police constable who had fired from his service rifle and killed a woman and injured two other passers-by before shooting himself on Friday afternoon, was handed to his family after post-mortem on Sunday. 

Police said the body was handed to the family at the NRS Medical College and Hospital. 

The 28-year-old, who was recruited into the city police on “compassionate grounds” after the death of his father, was barely a few months into the force and hence, was categorised as “temporary staff”.

Officers said Lepcha’s family would get the death benefits of a “temporary staff”, not a permanent employee. They will also not get any insurance benefits from the nationalised bank where all employees have their salary accounts.

“According to a new rule, the bank where we have our salary accounts is bound to pay a life insurance benefit of Rs 32 lakh to the family of any police personnel who dies before retirement. Chodup Lepcha’s family, however, will not be entitled to this benefit because he not only committed suicide but also gunned down a woman and shot at two others,” said an officer.

Officers of Beniapukur police station have started a case under IPC sections related to murder, attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy.

Police sources said the post-mortem revealed that Lepcha died of a bullet wound on his head.

Kolkata police commissioner Vineet Goyal had on Friday said an investigation would be conducted to find out the reason behind Lepcha’s suicidal tendency.

Lepcha, who was originally recruited in the traffic police department in August 2021, had completed his training in February 2022 and was inducted into the special task force of Kolkata police before being transferred to the armed battalion in the force.

An officer said the constable’s family would have been eligible for the benefits of a permanent staff had he completed three years of service in the force.

On Friday afternoon, Lepcha had left his post at the police kiosk in front of the Bangladesh deputy high commission, off Lower Range Road, telling his colleagues that he was going for a tea break.

Instead, he started firing from his SLR rifle at random.

He had shot 10 bullets, of which one killed 28-year-old Rima Singh and one each hit 19-year-old Sarfaraz and 49-year-old M. Bashir Alam, and used the 11th to kill himself.

Sources said Lepcha was diagnosed with problems such as anxiety, aggression, irrelevant talks and “head banging” at the Institute of Psychiatry in March. He was treated at the institute and discharged.

One of Lepcha’s sisters — Ankit Lepcha – had however told The Telegraph that they had no reasons to believe that Lepcha had been suffering from depression.

She had told this newspaper on Friday: “He called me around 8 this morning and said he would call me again after work. We have no reason to believe that he was depressed.”

“When he was here with us, he was very happy. He used to go out with his friends and showed no signs of being troubled,” another sister Ongmit had said.

The constable had visited his native village in Kalimpong on June 27 and left for Kolkata on Wednesday to resume duty.

Last updated on 13.06.22, 05:44 PM
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