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Minister faces mob mishap anger

Burdwan, Jan. 4: Angered by the death of a person in an accident on Grand Trunk Road this morning, a mob set up a road block and detained, among others, minister of state for public works Dasarath Tirkey.

A speeding truck overtaking a string of stationary buses at the Birata bridge junction crushed Shakti Kumar Maity, 59, an irrigation employee, at 11 am and fled before anybody could react.

The angry passers-by immediately surrounded the body and blocked the road, demanding that police take measures to prevent frequent recurrence of mishaps on the stretch.

Tirkey, out on an unofficial engagement in Katwa, happened to pass by and was stopped by the blockade. Recognising the minister by the pilot jeep preceding his car, the mob set upon his vehicle. The jeep and his car were held up for close to an hour.

The minister tried to reason with the crowd, but they refused to listen to him and showered abuses. Finally, the police cleared a way and escorted the minister’s convoy along a different route.

Four traffic constables on duty at a post barely 100 metres from the scene of the accident had fled on seeing the mob. The road block continued for two hours.

Smugglers held

Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence yesterday arrested two Delhi residents, who had come in from Bangkok, on charges of smuggling in dollars.

On receiving a tip-off, the officials administered purgative with the duo’s food and recovered 12 capsules they had swallowed. “Each capsule contained US dollars. The total value was Rs 1.75 lakh in Indian currency,” said an official.

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