Raju Gupta, 28, was stabbed to death late on Tuesday while trying to rescue an 18-year-old girl from the clutches of two drunks at Dunlop, in the Baranagar area.
The two men, Nandalal Shaw and Nandalal Sahani, who is a security guard of the Indian Statistical Institute, tried to abduct and rape the girl.
Residents of the area caught the two culprits, but only after they had stabbed Gupta. He was admitted to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries a few minutes after admission. The two men were handed over to the police.
An officer of Baranagar police station said: “The two men knew the girl because they live in the same neighbourhood.” According to the police, Shaw and Sahani barged into the girl’s home near Baranagar railway station. She lives there with her father, who was not home then.
“The girl was cooking when they suddenly attacked her. They tried to drag her out,” said Basudeb Bag, superintendent of police, North 24-Parganas. As the girl started to scream, Raju, a local youth, who was passing by, came to her rescue. Raju, known in the neighbourhood for his daredevilry, pinned down Sahani. At this, Shaw took out a bhojali and stabbed him. As Raju slumped to the ground, Sahani pounced on him.
Hearing their cries, neighbours rushed in. They saw Raju lying on the floor, bleeding. They caught the two intruders and informed the police. Some members of the crowd proceeded to beat up the duo, before handing them over to the police.
Police arrived and arrested Shaw and Sahani. The angry crowd demanded exemplary punishment for the two culprits.
Before the police could reach the spot, the people had rushed Raju to Baranagar State General Hospital. There were deep wounds in his chest and abdomen. He underwent surgery.
“The young man had lost a lot of blood before he was hospitalised. He died soon afterwards,” said an officer of Baranagar police station.
The arrested duo was charged with murder. There were a number witnesses to their crime, said superintendent Bag. The police will question the girl to find out if the two had tried to molest her earlier. Apparently, both the men have links with local criminals.
“We will verify their antecedents,” said Bag.