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Sunday 26 January 2020

‘What will I do with money if my family has no security?’ asks a teacher in Bengal

While an appeal addressing the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been posted on Facebook, a relative of the murdered teacher has said that no punishment milder than the death sentence for the criminal will do

Subhamay Chaudhuri, a teacher by profession, today issued an appeal on Facebook addressed to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, drawing her attention to the brutal murder of fellow-professional Bandhu Prakash Pal with his family on the day Hindus across the world were celebrating Vijayadashami or Dussehra.

In an emotive post, Chaudhuri writes in Bangla, “Bandhu Prakash Pal uploaded his last photo on Facebook at 9:10 PM on 7 October. This was his last upload. Yesterday, primary school teacher Bandhu Prakash Pal, his wife and their seven-year-old son were brutally murdered.”

Reportedly, a video of a scene after the murder went viral on social media, mainly WhatsApp. Seeing the gruesome act, “I vomited with hate, in fear. I’m really scared. When my family and I do not have a modicum of security in this country, what will I do with dearness allowance or pay commission?” the distraught teacher wrote on the day when the Union government announced a hike of 5% in the dearness allowance for central government employees. While the West Bengal government is yet to implement the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission in the state — the implementation will begin in January 2020 — the Trinamool Congress government has approved of the seventh already.

Saying that Facebook authorities have removed the gory video, Chaudhuri thanks the social medium for the little mercy as “having watched that scene, my hands are still trembling”, he has written.

Chaudhuri names other teachers who were mercilessly killed in the recent past like Rajkumar Roy, Chinmaya Mondal and now his “family friend” Prakash Pal.

“Except in two social media groups of teachers, neither are users of networking sites bothered nor is mainstream media covering the incident,” Chaudhuri complains. He has heard some say the murder was in protest of illegal construction while others have told him they were victims of some land dispute or personal retaliation. “The police are clueless,” he adds.

“Honourable Chief Minister, on behalf of that cursed family, I ask you for a speedy and impartial trial. Please do not let teachers or doctors be projected as enemies of society.
My hands are trembling as I type. If I have made a mistake, forgive me. Please stand by us, teachers,” Chaudhuri appeals.

In Jiaganj of the Murshidabad district in peak Puja season, an unidentified miscreant escaped after murdering teacher Pal (35), his pregnant wife Beauty Mandal-Pal (30) and six-year-old son Bandhu Angan Pal.

Locals are stunned by the horror of the crime. Upon receiving the news, the police reached the spot and hurriedly recovered the bodies and despatched them to the Lalbagh sub-divisional hospital for autopsy.

The police are not clear about the modus operandi of the killer even as district police officials have been investigating the brutal murder for the past two days. Additional Superintendent of Police Murshidabad district Tamnoy Sarkar told the media on 8 October, “The cause of the incident is unclear right now, but no precious ornaments or money was lost or stolen. In this scenario, the investigating team is seriously investigating the possibility of a known person involved in the incident.”

Meanwhile, sources said that Pal, a resident of Kanaiganj Lebubagan in the eighth ward of the Jiaganj-Azimganj municipality, who was always known as a gentle person in the area, was a teacher at the Goshaigram Sahapara Primary School. The family had started got a house built in the area about two-and-a-half years ago and started living there. The original house of Pal was in the Sagardighi police station area. They had moved to Jiaganj for better facilities of education for their son.

Pal was found lying dead in his bed in the bedroom of his house. Son Bandhu Angan’s throat had been slit, with his blood drenching the floor. The battered body of Beauty Pal was recovered from another house in the neighbourhood.

Sources say that the relatives of the Pals face a threat to their lives as well. Pal’s brother-in-law Bandhu Krishna Ghosh has filed a written complaint at the Nabagram Police Station regarding the incident. He says, “The incident is not just unacceptable; I still cannot believe this has happened. How can anyone murder a young child, with his family, so brutally? We will settle for no punishment lesser than the execution of the killers.”

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