Calcutta, June 11: Denied right of way, they not only gunned their engine but also the man who was refusing to let them pass.
Anil Singh, driver of a bus on route No. 24, had several pellets pumped into him shortly before noon today for refusing to let a motorcycle overtake. The young man survived the attack and was reported to be out of danger at Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital, where he was taken.
The incident occurred on Radhanath Chaudhuri Street in the Entally area.
Singh — a resident of Suresh Sarkar Road, also in the same area — had reached the stretch that turns into Convent Road a little after 11.30. A motorcycle, which had been asking for right of way for quite some time, finally managed to overtake the bus, which was on its way to Howrah from Topsia.
The two-wheeler travelled a few metres ahead before stopping bang in the middle of the road. Both the rider and his pillion got off. They then walked up to the bus and asked Singh what had taken him so long to hear their “request” for right of way.
As tempers flared, Singh got down from the bus. He was joined by the two conductors who protested against the abusive language of the motorcyclists, police said.
It was then that the pillion-rider took out a pipe gun, witnesses later told the police. Before Singh or the others could react, the man opened fire. Fortunately, it was only pellets that came out.
As Singh slumped to the ground, the motorcyclists kick-started the bike and sped away. Residents of the area rushed to help Singh to the nearest hospital, NRS, where he was treated.
The drama, however, continued for some more time as the people who helped Singh squatted on the street and held up traffic. But they were not protesting against the assault on the driver.
They were more angry with rash driving by buses — plying on the same route —outside their homes, deputy commissioner (headquarters) K.L. Tamta said.
The blockade continued for an hour before police officials managed to pacify the residents and clear the road.