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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Reckless wheels in death race
- Crushed by bus on kerb

The race on Thursday afternoon started for a lark from the Moulali crossing and ended by claiming the life of a woman in her mid-40s.

And, for once, the police could not point an accusing finger at unruly pedestrians.

The victim, unidentified till late on Tuesday, was on the pavement of the SN Banerjee Road-Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road crossing when a bus on route 34C mowed her down.

The blame lay squarely on reckless drivers and the failure of police to rein them in.

Anuj Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (headquarters), admitted that the driver of the killer bus, Tanmoy Bhattacharya, had lost control after overtaking another bus.

'He has been arrested but the other driver managed to flee with his vehicle,' added Sharma.

The accident occurred around 3.20 pm and both the buses in the death race were headed towards Esplanade.

'Both the buses were speeding dangerously, with the killer bus trying to overtake the other from the SN Banerjee Road-APC Roy Road intersection,' said an officer of Taltala police station.

When the first bus slowed down near the SN Banerjee Road-Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road crossing, driver Tanmoy seized the moment and stepped on the pedal.

'He overtook and veered violently to the right, losing control,' continued the officer. 'The bus mounted the pavement and mowed down the woman.'

The victim was waiting at the bus stop. 'She was hurled to the ground and then the rear wheels of the bus went over her head, crushing her and killing her instantly,' said an officer of the traffic department's fatal squad. 'The driver tried to flee but was caught by bystanders.'

People of the locality turned violent. They thrashed the errant driver and handed him over him to police, who later removed the killer bus from the spot.

Traffic on SN Banerjee Road and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road was disrupted for over half an hour after residents squatted on the stretch, alleging that rash driving had become a regular feature on the thoroughfare.

'Police refuse to take any action against drivers who speed down this congested stretch,' they complained.

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