The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Racing bus crushes teenager

Calcutta, Aug. 16: A bus racing another crushed a schoolgirl as she was trying to cross the road this morning — the third to die in three days on Calcutta’s killer streets.

Prerna Parasrampuria, 18, left her Nimtalla Ghat Street home as usual at 7am for the short walk to school.

The Class XII student was about to cross Pathariaghata Street — still fairly empty before rush hour began — when she panicked at the sight of two buses hurtling towards her and stumbled.

As Prerna fell down, one of the buses ran over her, crushing the girl under its wheels. The second sped past.

“We have impounded the bus but the driver and conductors managed to flee. As the roads were empty, the buses were going fast,” said an officer of Jorabagan police station.

Buses racing against each other to pick up passengers are a common sight at any time of the day on the street in north Calcutta’s busy Posta area, where thousands of gaddis deal in everything from spices and saris to jute and dry fruits.

Prerna’s school, Shree Digambar Jain Balika Vidyalaya, is located in the area.

Angry residents blocked the road — also a vital link to Howrah — for more than two hours, blaming corrupt policemen and congestion for the teenager’s death.

“Buses and trucks do not obey rules on these crossings. Besides, one side of the road is used for parking trucks and other commercial vehicles, adding to the congestion,” said Vinay Pachisia.

“Time and again we have demanded there should be a sergeant on duty here but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The police are busy extorting money from the commercial vehicles,” another resident said.

Prerna was the second of sari trader Mahesh and housewife Kavita Parasrampuria’s three children. She has an elder sister and a younger brother.

“Of late she would be busy with her studies as her Class XII board exams were not even a year away,” said uncle Devkinandan Parasrampuria.

The bus that crushed her was travelling on route 215A. Police are not even looking for the bus that was racing it.

On Tuesday, a school bus had mowed down a couple on EM Bypass. Anutosh and Madhumita Majumdar were on their way to work when their motorcycle hit a pothole on the road, lost control and ended up under the wheels of the bus.

Last week, a two-and-a-half-year-old was hit by a bus that was trying to overtake another in north Calcutta. The child survived but could lose a leg.

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