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Tea garden officials shot at

Jalpaiguri, Nov. 27: The manager and assistant manager of a tea estate were shot at and wounded today in what appeared to be an attempted robbery.

Malbazar sub-divisional police officer Joy Biswas said unidentified gunmen fired from small arms at the officials of Debipur tea estate when they were driving to the garden with a bag of cash. The officials had withdrawn Rs 60,000 from a bank in Lataguri to pay wages.

However, the attackers fled without the money, Biswas said.

The injured garden officials had “released” their two police escorts on the way, shortly before the attack around 1.45 pm.

The assistant manager, Gouranga Dutta, who was shot in the stomach, was admitted to a Siliguri nursing home in critical state. The manager, identified only as Sharma, was released after first aid.

Biswas said police were investigating whether the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation or any other militant outfit was involved.

The police officer said the tea garden officials had gone to the bank under police escort. As they headed back to the garden, the manager inexplicably stopped the vehicle and “let the two policemen out” at Kranti outpost.

Before they could reach the garden, the vehicle had to stop at a roadblock set up by the attackers using fallen trees. As the two officials stepped out, they were shot at.

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