The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Forum chief’s guard fires at lawyer leader

Krishnagar, May 18: Former vice-chairman of the municipality here and Congress leader Debasis Ray was seriously injured when the security guard of the president of a consumer forum fired at him today.

Ray, also the secretary of the district bar association, was rushed to a local hospital but had to be shifted to a nursing home in Calcutta after his condition worsened.

The Congress has called a 24-hour bandh tomorrow to protest the attack on Ray. The party leaders demanded the arrest of the Nadia District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum president, S.K. Bose. Police said his guard, Biswajit Mondal, has been arrested.

“We have arrested the constable, Biswajit Mondal. Bose, a retired district judge, can be arrested only after a proper probe,” said Binay Chakraborty, the district superintendent of police.

The Krishnanagar Bar Association has called for a 72-hour ceasework in protest against the incident. The state bar association will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to fix their course of action.

Bose was supervising work on the shifting of the consumer forum to a new office from the criminal court building when Ray and some of his colleagues landed there. They alleged that they were not properly informed about the shifting process and date. A quarrel ensued, which ended in Ray being shot at by Bose’s bodyguard.

Witnesses said Bose had ordered Mondal to fire at Ray. A couple of bullets hit him. One of them entered the abdomen and the other his spinal chord, the police said. Hospital sources said both the bullets have been taken out of his body. Ray’s condition was said to be stable.

Secretary of the district bar association Asim Saha said they had information that the forum office would be transferred to Austin House, which is at least 3 km away from the city. “Ray asked the president why he was in a hurry to shift the office without consulting them and an argument followed. In the melee, the security fired without provocation,” Saha alleged. Ray collapsed on the ground. As he lay in a pool of blood, pandemonium broke loose in the court premises.

“There were not many people at the scene on a Sunday. If the incident took place on a working day, there could have been a stampede,” a police official said. The few people who were there on the premises ran for cover.

As the news spread, Congress supporters blocked a road, bringing traffic in the area to a halt.

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