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Home they brought the warrior for final salute

STAFF REPORTER 

GUWAHATI, May 5: For young Assam Police officer Bhaskar Kalita, duty always came first which kept him away from his family for a long time. And on Friday his duty to safeguard the people of his State took him far away from his family consisting of ageing parents, wife and two one-and-a-half-year old kids.
Kalita could not come home even during the Rongali Bihu festival last month to see his ailing parents. He was supposed to come his home at Rajapara in Mazirgaon under Azara Police Station in Kamrup Metro district on Friday as his leave was sanctioned. But instead, Bhaskar’s bullet-ridden body reached his home on Saturday afternoon leaving his family members, neighbours and friends to shell-shocked.  “Bhaskar called me during the daytime on Friday to tell me that he was coming home. 
He was extremely excited and happy for the homecoming. The entire family was too excited, and I started telling my kids that their papa who lives in jungles (Bordumsa) was coming. See my fate and destiny today. Now how could I believe and accept his body? What will I tell my kids and Bhaskar’s parents now? It is not fair Bhaskar….You should not have come home this way…this is not fair Bhaskar,” wife Sangeeta Kalita cried thus inconsolably at her Mazirgaon home on Saturday afternoon. 
Sangeeta even questioned the top Assam Police officials who visited her on Saturday as to why Bhaskar was sent for the encounter despite the fact that he was on leave. “Why was no other official sent? From the very beginning of his career, Bhaskar was given posting at all security-sensitive police stations. I used to tell my kids Diyan and Diya that their papa lived in jungles,” she said. 
Kalita, a brilliant student from Palasbari Anchalik High School and DK College, Mirza joined the Assam Police in 2009. He had been engaged in duties in all difficult and militancy-prone areas. Despite the threat to his life, he never evaded his official responsibility and was always bravely on the front whenever there was a call for operation against extremists and antisocials. 
Their heart was heavy but his relatives, friends and hundreds of people from Mazirgaon village in Azara held their heads high as he sacrificed his life for the sake of the safety of the people of the State as well as the country. 
The coffin, draped in the national flag, was brought to Kalita’s home on Saturday evening. It was finally brought to the cremation ground at a village ground, followed by hundreds of people, young and old, who mostly remained silent as their voices were choked to utter even a few words.
A long silence swept the crowd as the police fired three rounds in the air. No sooner had the echoes of the gunshots fallen silent than the air reverberated with a deafening cry of ‘Bhaskar zindabad’. Some villagers at the cremation ground expressed anger over his prolonged engagement of in official duties at militancy-prone areas in the State. But by then, the pyre was lit and the fire and smoke had enveloped the grief and anger in the air.  

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Ankur Kalita