Bengal bids farewell to its brave son Amitava Malik
Kolkata: The police bade farewell with full state honours to slain Sub-Inspector Amitava Malik, who was killed in an ambush at Darjeeling on Friday. The police gave him a gun salute at the ground of local club Amra Kajon, adjacent to Madhyamgram police station, before performing his last rites at Nimtala crematorium.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while leaving the state secretariat Nabanna on Saturday, told reporters that the death of the SI was tragic. "He was very brave. I knew him and met him in Darjeeling. There was life in him on Friday but now he has found a place in a coffin (Kal tar dehe chilo pran aaj se ek mormantik coffin.) The void left by these brave police personnel will not be filled."
Banerjee also said that Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purkayestha will be in Darjeeling next week to take stock of the situation. The body of Amitava was flown in to the city airport from Bagdogra on Saturday afternoon.
State Education minister Partha Chatterjee and Food & Supplies minister Jyotipriya Mallick paid tributes to Malik at the airport and amid the presence of senior police officials and the two ministers, his hearse was taken to the ground adjacent to Madhyamgram police station for the gun salute. Following this, the body was taken to his residence at Sarat Kanan
The slain SI's wife, Beauty, was seen accompanying her husband's hearse right from Dum Dum airport to his last rites at Nimatala. The mood was sombre in the entire locality as people from all walks of life and all ages gathered in front of his house to pay homage.
Amitava's bereaved father, Soumen Malik, made an appeal to the Chief Minister not to allow the division of Bengal. "My son had always said that he would not allow the split of Bengal. He has sacrificed his life for this. I would urge CM to give exemplary punishment to Bimal Gurung, the chief of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha."
His brother Arunava said that he, too, would like to serve the country like his elder brother. Mother Ganga Malik, whose tears knew no bounds, said that her son had left his job with a bank and also with the state Power Department to pursue the career of a cop.
"He would say that there is no honour in the job of a banker, but the job of a policeman is one of great pride and prestige," she said. Meanwhile, combing operations to nab GJM chief Bimal Gurung continued in full swing for the second consecutive day in the forests of Darjeeling on Friday.