Festival of colours in lynch wake
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- Published 28.05.07
|Chetla’s residents rejoice over the death of their tormentor. Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya|
If Saturday saw a lynching, the day after — a holiday — brought the festival of colours to a south Calcutta neighbourhood.
Less than 12 hours after Dom Pradip was lynched by a mob, led mainly by women, a group of 100-odd women gathered outside the Ma Sarodamoyee Sporting Club — off Lockgate Railway Bridge — on Sunday morning to celebrate the death of their tormentor.
Rebati Banerjee ran out of her kitchen, leaving behind preparations for a Sunday lunch and within minutes, she was covered with colours of all hues.
But the 32-year-old housewife was not complaining. “Pradip will never return to visit our locality. It’s a relief and good enough reason to celebrate,” said Rebati.
“He would walk into houses and pull out women, sometimes in the presence of their husbands. No one dared protest,” recounted Gouri Sardar, another resident of the area. Around seven years ago, Gouri recalled, Pradip had walked into her aunt’s house and raped her.
“Finally, we can rejoice,” chorused the women.
To avoid any further flare-up, men from Chetla police station made the rounds of the area. But they are yet to arrest anyone in connection with the lynching of the extortionist. “We have started a case of rioting and murder… At this moment, it is not easy to step into the locality and round up residents,” admitted a senior officer of Chetla police station.
Pradip Mullick, alias Dom Pradip — out on bail after six years — used to rule over parts of Tollygunge, New Alipore and Chetla before his arrest.
On Saturday night, he walked into a telephone booth near the rail bridge, where he started chatting up a girl, who had recently come to live in the area from Delhi. According to residents, Kanchan Halder, a housewife, spotted Pradip and raised an alarm.
People gathered and attacked him with iron rods, bricks and bamboo sticks. The police arrived on the spot and shifted Pradip to SSKM Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Pradip’s wife Rekha and his brother lodged a formal complaint with Chetla police station after performing his last rites at Nimtala ghat on Sunday afternoon.