A part-time lecturer with a reputed college in Kolkata was arrested on Sunday for allegedly firing pellets and wounding at least seven of his neighbours in over three years in acts of “revenge”. In all these years, he was never identified as the attacker.
A team from Parnashree police station on the southern outskirts of Kolkata searched Monojit Paul’s home in the morning, and seized an airgun and a few pellets from there. The police also arrested Paul, who reportedly told them that he was firing at his neighbours with revenge as the motive.
Investigating officer U Manjhi told The Indian Express that in the past three years, the police station has received frequent complaints about some “sniper” firing pellets at the residents of Upen Banerrjee Road. “Till recently, the police were clueless as to who was committing this crime and pressure was mounting on us,” he said.
In the past six months, there were seven such indents and the last complaint came around three days ago, when Paul, a part-time lecturer at Asutosh College in south Kolkata, shot at the back of a youth and injured him.
In earlier cases, a couple of women and even a child had been among Paul’s “victims”. Once, he allegedly fired at a man’s forehead.
As tempers began to rise against the police’s inability to catch the attacker, Parnashree thana deployed “all its resources to make a breakthrough”.
“The breakthrough finally came a few days back when underground sources, police watchers, managed to zero in on the house of the lecturer. Today, we caught him with the airgun, which he used to shoot at people,” said Manjhi.
The lecturer reportedly told the police that a few years ago he had an accidental fall in the locality and injured his collar bone. However, none of his neighbours came to his assistance, which gave the “birth to an intense revenge motive”, the police said.
He had bought the airgun around 10 years ago from Lalbazar. To buy an airgun and its pellets, one does not require a firearm licence, police said.
Majhi said: “There is no doubt that it is a kind of mental distortion.”
Paul, meanwhile, was produced before the Alipore court and remanded to police custody.