Police avert hostage crisis in Bengal school, disarm gun-wielding man

Panic gripped the students and teachers of a state-run school in West Bengal's Malda district after a person entered a classroom brandishing a revolver and with a knife tucked in his trousers

IANS Photo
IANS Photo


A gun-wielding man barged into a packed classroom at a high school in West Bengal’s Malda district Wednesday afternoon, but was overpowered by police and arrested, officials said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who was holding an administrative meeting in Kolkata at the time, came out to compliment the police for averting what is being seen as a potential school hostage crisis.

Panic gripped the students of Muchia Anchal Chandra Mohan High School at Old Malda, as the unidentified man brandished the gun and started yelling, a senior police officer said.

"The man managed to enter the school and barge into the room where Class-8 students were seated. He was holding a gun and shouting at the students, allegedly threatening to kill them and the class teacher," the officer told PTI. The man identified by bystanders as Vallabh kept shouting he “would shoot if someone shoots him”.

The person who is being was however overpowered by bystanders and police personnel and arrested, the officer said, adding, a pistol, two bottles containing some liquid and a knife were seized from his possession.

The bespectacled man claimed he acted in this way, as his son and wife have been missing since a year, and he wanted to exert pressure on the administration to take note of it.

However, according to his neighbours the man in his mid-40s, is separated from his wife and his child lives with her.

Anxious guardians rushed to the school and made a beeline outside the educational institution, even as classes were suspended following the incident, police said.

Lauding the police for disarming and arresting a man, Banerjee alleged that the entire matter may have been a plot.

"Case of the man brandishing a gun at Malda school may not be an act of lunacy," the chief minister told a press conference at the state secretariat. 

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