The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Truck crushes 11-year-old

Calcutta, Feb. 19: The wheels of death have cut short one more young life.

A speeding truck rammed into Shantanu Naskar near the race course this morning when the budding footballer was on his way to a training camp on his father's cycle.

The 11-year-old had celebrated his birthday yesterday.

Shantanu's was the fourth life lost in three days in a road accident.

On Thursday, a bus had knocked down six-year-old Sourav Das at the intersection of Sarat Bose Road and Southern Avenue. The little boy, on his way home from school, had wanted a cake when he returned. It was his birthday.

Today, it was around 6.30 when the killer truck hit Shantanu from behind near the west gate of the race course at the approach to the Vidyasagar Setu.

The Class VII student of Sarsuna High School, who had just shifted from the front to the carrier-seat, fell on the road while his father was thrown to the other side.

'We rushed to his rescue. His father could barely stand. The boy was still alive. But as no taxi was available at that hour, some precious 20 minutes were lost,' said tea-stall owner and witness Paritosh Mondal.

Shantanu, who was on his way to Dukhiram Majumder Coaching Camp on the Aryan Club ground, was taken to SSKM hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.

His parents had planned a party on Monday where his school friends and others from the coaching camp were invited. 'It's all over now,' cried Shantanu's father.

Local residents, including those from the race course who take out horses every morning, said the road was a death trap.

'The road takes a curve whereby it makes it impossible for anyone to spot a speeding vehicle coming from behind. We stand with red flags and do a bit of policing but that is only when taking out and bringing back the horses from the club,' said an employee.

Others said it was only at times that a traffic constable was posted, that too in the evening. Hours after the incident, no constable was to be seen. Till late in the evening, the killer truck was still to be traced.

'I have been observing Shantanu for the last three years. He was a very promising and obedient boy. From Sarsuna, it is quite a distance but he would never miss a class. If not his father, he would ensure his mother was there,' said his coach Monojit Das.

Yesterday, a truck hit a pothole on Judges Court Road next to the tram tracks, lost control and ploughed into a middle-aged milkman on a cycle.

Late in the night, a police van ran over a man in front of New Market police station. The road turned into a battlefield as pavement dwellers clashed with the police.

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