Monkey-around cop loses ear

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By Staff Reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 11.02.04

Calcutta, Feb. 11: A policeman lost a ear yesterday in an encounter, not with gansters but with a monkey.

Rathin Thakur, an officer of assistant commissioner rank in the detective department’s computer cell, had to be rushed to SSKM hospital — where he underwent reconstructive surgery — after a monkey bit off his left ear during jesting last morning.

Thakur, 56, had left his Belgharia residence, on the northern fringes of Calcutta, as usual around 8.30 am to head for the Lalbazar police headquarters. On the way, he saw a band of monkeys on rooftops and trees.

“The apes shifted to Belgharia recently. It seems Thakur was not aware of this. The moment he noticed them close to his house, he was excited,” said an official of Belgharia police station.

The child in the officer took hold and he made some gestures at the simians. At this, a monkey sprang from a nearby ledge on to Thakur’s shoulder. It pulled at his hair and then climbed up a wall.

Thakur again called out to the monkey, which obliged. It came down to his shoulder, but this time it snatched his spectacles.

Thakur — known as a calm officer in the circle of city detectives — did not lose patience. He began calling the monkey again, this time to retrieve his glasses.

“The simian must have suspected something. It threw away the glasses and again jumped on to Thakur’s shoulder,” said the official. “This time, however, it was violent. It pulled his head and bit off his left ear and fled.”

Bloodied and screaming, Thakur slumped on the road. His neighbours rushed out and took him to hospital.

Belgharia police station has been receiving a string of complaints over the past three days about the monkey menace.