Kolkata Police: Cops Plan Strict Mental State Assessment of Field Officers Before Assigning Weapons | Kolkata News

Kolkata: Kolkata Police plans to conduct more rigorous screening of field officers before allowing them to carry weapons. “Friday’s incident where Chodup Lepcha, a 28-year-old Kolkata Armed Police constable, on his first day of duty outside the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission near Park Circus, opened fire indiscriminately from his SLR, killing a 28-year-old woman and injuring two others, taught us a lesson. We will have to rethink long-term mental health,” an officer said.
Cops said while most constables can return home once a month, those staying in North Bengal (like Lepcha) are allowed longer breaks of at least 10 days. “We already have a strict policy that fellow alcoholics are not issued weapons. Now we plan to do a periodic mental status assessment. We will ask our officers to find out more about the family needs and requirements of the lower gendarmerie,” said a senior officer in the armed unit.
Investigators, meanwhile, spoke Saturday with members of Lepcha’s family and colleagues who shared the barracks with him when he returned Thursday. “His brother and sister-in-law said they hadn’t heard or seen anything out of the ordinary from Lepcha. They said he was cheerful at home and even promised his sister-in-law that he would get married the next time he returned from leave. Back at the barracks, it was normal although he had not engaged in any conversation with his colleagues. He had also reported to work on time , which made it difficult to identify any cause that might have caused him to act as he did,” said an officer leading the investigations.
Cops said they were investigating an incident with Lepcha shortly after he went on a raid after completing training in February earlier this year. “The media is planning something, but it needs further collaboration before it can be established,” an officer said.
Cops have now found more definitive footage that clearly shows what happened on Friday. While previous CCTV footage shows the bike stopping in front of Lepcha, who crouches down for a moment and then shoots them from behind as the bike swings desperately into the right lane, the news shows how the bullets have hit Rima, who fell off the bike while Bashir was shot in the arm.
Cops said they are also investigating the details of Lepcha’s call and whether he made a final call before the incident. “We are also looking at his marksmanship prowess – since being inducted into the STF and later into the Armed Police of his Traffic Executive parent. This is important because no trained police officer squats down before firing,” an officer said.

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