I will not cry for my son, he is a mar­tyr, says slain of­fi­cer’s fa­ther

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES NATION - Zee­shan.Jawed@ times­group.com

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.

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