I will not cry for my son, he is a martyr, says slain officer’s father
Kolkata: When Amitava Malik visited his Madhyamgram home this August, his father Soumen advised him to consider changing his profession, given the volatile situation in Darjeeling where he was posted since early 2015.
“You should be proud that you are a police officer’s father. I will not leave the force for any other job,” the 27-year-old sub-inspector retorted, silencing his father. On Friday morning, when Soumen heard on TV the news of his son’s death in a gunbattle with Gorkha Janmukti Morcha cadres, these words played over and over again in his mind. “My son is a martyr and I’m proud of him. I will not cry be- cause he has laid down his life in line of duty,” said the heart-broken father, refusing to shed a single tear.
Amitava’s mother, Ganga, younger brother, Arunava, friends and neighbours at Sarat Kanan in Madhyamgram’s Shibtala could not display such resilience and self-control. “Mashima (Amitava’s mother) is inconsolable,” said Santu Biswas, Amitava’s classmate.
All Amitava’s wife, Mona, hugging her dead husband’s coffin, could mutter was, “His duty has ended. At least now let me be with him.”
Amitava, always a topper in school and college, joined the police force in 2014 and was posted in Darjeeling Sadar police station in early 2015. The electrical engi- neer from Burdwan University managed to crack several competitive examinations and could have opted for a ‘safe’ job in the banking or insurance sectors, but opted to join the police force.
The Shibtala neighbourhood, around 2 km from the Madhyamgram Municipality office, was shrouded in a pall of gloom on Friday. “His father is a plumber and did not have money to educate his son, but Amitava taught other children and did odd jobs to partially fund his education,” said Anima Kunango, a relative.
The slain officer’s body could not be brought back to Kolkata on Friday, as the hearse got stopped by people wanting to pay their respects. By the time the motorcade reached the airport, the last flight to Kolkata had already left.