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Rampage sparks protest on tracks

Miscreants went on the rampage at New Barrackpore, on the city’s northern fringes, on Friday night, setting two motorcycles and a hearse ablaze. Local people held a demonstration on the railway tracks of the Sealdah-Bongaon section to protest the attack. Train services were disrupted for over an hour as a result.

According to police, residents, along with members of local clubs — Jagarani Sangha and Bidrohi Sangha— demolished a liquor shop on Friday. The residents alleged that the hooch shop was being used as a hideout by criminals.

“The miscreants fled the area when the locals stormed the den, but returned at night to retaliate. They hurled bombs, fired in the air and set three vehicles on fire,” said Ashoke Roy, inspector-in-charge of Ghola police station.

As news of the violence spread, people squatted on the tracks of the Sealdah-Bongaon section, demanding arrest of the gangsters. Train services were disrupted from 8 am for over an hour. The blockade was lifted after police intervention.

Residents alleged that policemen from Ghola thana reached the spot five hours later. “We kept calling the police. But they came after all the gangsters had fled,” said Ratan Mahapatra, a local youth. Police, however, denied the allegation.

The residents of Ward 7 observed a 12-hour bandh to protest the violence and the failure of the police to curb criminal activities in the area.

nSuspect held: The North 24-Parganas police on Saturday arrested Kartik Bhattacharya, the main accused in the murder of Binay Das, a Barrackpore-based CPM leader. Das was killed on August 2.

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