A gang of nearly two dozen criminals attacked several houses and shops at Nabajiban Pally, in Birati’s Bankra area, on the northern fringes of the city, on Wednesday night.
Demanding arrest of the culprits, residents blocked Jessore Road on Thursday morning for an hour and a half. Among the vehicles denied passage was the car of Left Front chairman Biman Bose. Bose was returning from Nadia after attending a party programme.
The police intervened to allow Bose’s car to proceed towards Calcutta. Shopkeepers and traders kept their shutters down to protest the attack.
According to Kamal De, a resident of Nabajiban Pally, the problem started when the youths of the area caught two motorcycle thieves on Tuesday.
“A trio of thieves had lifted a motorcycle from the Green Park area. While they were fleeing, a few youths of Nabajiban Pally chased and caught two of them. The third fled. In revenge, he gathered more goons from Bankra colony and attacked Nabajiban Pally on Wednesday night ” De said.
“Those goons looted several shops and even hurled bombs at the houses of the youths who had caught the motorcycle thieves. They broke open the shutters of a shop and cleaned it out. When a few of us tried to stop them, they hurled bombs at us and fired from country-made revolvers, forcing us indoors,” complained Rana, a local youth.
The vandalism continued for about an hour, without any resistance. “We telephoned the police, but nobody came to our help,” alleged a resident.
So, residents of the locality blocked Jessore Road at Bankra on Thursday morning to draw the attention of the administration to the collapse of law and order in the area.
Ajay Nand, additional superintendent of police (Salt Lake) said: “The main demand of the residents is that a police camp be set up in the area. One did exist earlier. They also demanded the arrest of the culprits. We have identified some of the goons and will be nabbing them soon.”