A man in his 30s allegedly opened fire from his father’s gun in a Kasba neighbourhood on Tuesday night after a dispute with neighbours over disposing of garbage in a public place.
Police have arrested Soumit Mandal, who works for an IT firm, and charged him under the arms act and the IPC section dealing with attempted murder. The lone bullet that was fired did not hit anyone, the police said.
Mandal allegedly pulled the trigger a second time but the bullet just fell off the gun.
The police said they have seized a 0.32mm-bore gun, which was allegedly used, from Mandal.
“It is a licensed gun that belongs to his father. According to the statement of the accused, his father is a retired assistant sub-inspector of police. We have yet to verify his claims,” said an officer at Kasba police station.
An altercation broke out between Mandal — who lives in an apartment at Baikanthapur in Kasba — and members of a local club on Tuesday evening.
Members of the club protested against Mandal’s alleged habit of dumping garbage on the road.
“Mandal, who lives with his wife and child in the flat, got angry and rushed to his father’s home in Chetla. He took out his father’s 0.32mm gun from his locker and brought it to Kasba. He went near the club and opened fire,” said the officer.
As he fired, people in the neighbourhood ducked for cover or ran inside the club.
The police said one bullet that was fired did not hit anyone. An empty cartridge was found on the spot. The police said they have recovered another live cartridge from the spot.
“It appears he tried to fire twice. The second bullet got stuck in the barrel and then fell. It was found in an intact condition. An empty cartridge, from the first firing, was also seized,” said an officer at the city police headquarters in Lalbazar.
Mandal, the police said, uses a motorcycle that has stickers with the words “Police” and “Press” written on them.
Several residents of Kasba said they had no idea that one of their neighbours had a gun or that one of them could be a potential threat to their lives.
“There have been several complaints against this man — ranging from misbehaviour to dumping garbage in the open that creates public nuisance. But we could never imagine that he would brandish a real gun and open fire against anyone protesting his actions,” said a resident of Baikanthapur.
Mandal, who has been booked under non-bailable sections, was produced in Alipore court on Wednesday and remanded in police custody.
The police said that during their investigation it emerged that his father, to whom the gun belongs, was not at home when Mandal took it away from his Chetla home.
“Only individuals who have a licence can use a gun. The licence cannot be transferred or inherited. Mandal was not authorised to use the gun,” the officer said.