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Teen cyclist knocked down, killed

Barely 48 hours after the death of a schoolgirl on BT Road, a 15-year-old boy fell victim to rash driving by public transport vehicles. Mohammad Arif, alias Minni, was knocked down on Wednesday afternoon at the crossing of Radhanath Chowdhury Lane and Pottery Road, in the Tangra police station area, by a private bus on route 24A.

Immediately after the mishap, residents of the area and commuters surrounded the bus and smashed its windscreen. The driver and conductors, however, managed to flee.

On Monday, Purabi Shaw, a Class V student of a Hindi-medium school in the Cossipore area, was knocked off her father’s two-wheeler, on which she was riding pillion, and killed by a bus on BT Road.

Purabi was on her way to school. Her father sustained serious injuries and was admitted to RG Kar Hospital. He is said to be in a stable condition.

Arif was cycling down Radhanath Chowdhury Lane at around 1 pm when the bus hit him from the rear. He was knocked off the cycle and hit the pavement a couple of metres away. Bystanders rushed him to Nilratan Sirkar Medical College and Hospital, while some others blocked the road, disrupting traffic for about an hour.

“Arif was pronounced ‘brought dead’ at the hospital. He was a resident of D.C. Dey Road, of the same area, and known to residents of the locality where the mishap occurred,” said an officer of the local police station. “Unfortunately, his family has left for Bihar to attend the last rites of his grandmother, who passed away a couple of days ago,” the officer added.

Later in the day, nearly 1,000 residents came out to protest the mishap death. They demanded that traffic on the route be manned regularly and a speed limit be implemented to avoid accidents in the area.

“Time and again, we have requested the authorities to rein in the bus drivers, but nothing has evolved from these meetings. I felt ill seeing the boy bleed to death in front of my eyes. The spot where the boy fell had water running down the gutter turning red with his blood,” said an eyewitness.

Forces from both Tangra and Entally police stations arrived on the spot soon after the accident and tried to prevent the agitated mob from damaging passing vehicles. “We reached the spot in 10 minutes and brought the situation under control. But it took us some time to disperse the crowd,” said an official of Entally police station.

“The local police has impounded the bus but the driver has fled. Arif’s body has been sent for post-mortem and will be handed over to his family once they return from Bihar,” said deputy commissioner of police (headquarters) Kuldiep Singh.

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