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Truck mows down sergeant

A 45-year-old sergeant of the South West Traffic Guard, Samarendra Nath Saha Mondal, was deliberately crushed under the wheels of a truck when he tried to book the errant driver for trying to slip into a 'no entry' road at 8.10 am on Tuesday.

This occurred at the intersection of Diamond Harbour Road and Ramtanu Lahiri Lane, off New Alipore's C block, in front a petrol station in Taratala.

Both the driver and his assistant were arrested and a murder charge was slapped on the former. The detective department has been entrusted with the investigation.

This is the second accident in recent years when a sergeant has been run over by a vehicle while trying to book its errant driver.

In 2001, a taxi driver had run over Biswajit Ganguly near Dhakuria bridge after the driver mistook him for the traffic officer who had attempted to book him for violating road rules.

According to witnesses, Saha Mondal, a sergeant of the 1987 batch, was on duty at the intersection when he noticed the lorry trying to sneak in through the 'no entry' road and immediately asked the driver to stop.

Mehedi Hasan Bhandari, the driver, obeyed, stopped the vehicle and even stepped out. After a futile attempt to stop the sergeant from prosecuting him, the driver went back into the lorry on the pretext of moving the vehicle to a side.

When Saha Mondal came in front of the lorry, Bhandari knocked him down. Then, before the sergeant could roll over to safety, Bhandari drove the front wheels on to the policeman's left leg, followed by the rear ones on his pelvis.

'This is not an accident but a deliberate act on the part of the driver. He has been booked on murder charges under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code,' said C.V. Murlidhar, joint commissioner of police (traffic).

Saha Mondal succumbed to his injuries after he was rushed to CMRI Hospital.

The errant vehicle was intercepted on James Long Sarani after Sambhu Ghosh, a local youth, pursuing it on his motorcycle, raised an alarm and then put his two-wheeler in front of the truck.

Later, local residents joined him. Subsequently, R.N. Roy, a traffic sergeant, arrived, and the driver, along with the vehicle, were intercepted. Roy prevented the driver from being lynched by a mob.

'I was informed about the accident over the wireless and started chasing the vehicle from New Alipore. Thankfully, Sambhu was after the lorry from the beginning. It was because of him that the driver and the lorry were caught. The vehicle and the driver were first taken to Behala police station and then removed to New Alipore,' Roy said.

A resident of Suri, in Birbhum, Saha Mondal used to live at the Padmapukur police quarters in Kidderpore.

The sergeant's family members ' comprising wife Monika, 17-year-old daughter Soma and 14-year-old son Suchan ' said he used to be a bodybuilder.

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