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Murder case on 23 for driver death

Durgapur, Feb. 21: Police today registered a murder case against all 23 people arrested in connection with truck driver Abodh Kishore Singh’s death.

The 45-year-old, whose truck had run over 12-year old Bikash Bauri at New Town in Burnpur yesterday, was tied to a tree and set ablaze as his wife watched in horror. He died in hospital last night.

“We have arrested 23 people so far but those who had masterminded the heinous crime are still absconding,” Durgapur additional superintendent of police Deep Shankar Rudra said.

The 23 were produced in the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court in Asansol and have been remanded in judicial custody for a week.

Preliminary investigations suggest the “gruesome” murder was “pre-planned”, the police said. “The area is crime-prone as it is full of scrap and iron smugglers. Those involved in the incident have criminal antecedents,” Rudra said.

There was a virtual bandh in New Town today with most shops keeping shutters down. Buses and trucks also stayed off roads.

Residents of Asansol town took out a candlelight procession.

The Citu-affiliated transport workers’ union staged rallies and blocked roads in Burnpur and Asansol. They also submitted a memorandum to sub-divisional officer A.P. Roy.

“The area has virtually become a criminal den but the police are sitting idle. We have given a week’s ultimatum to the administration to arrest the main culprits. If it is not done, we will stop plying buses and trucks in the two towns,” warned Bamapada Mukherjee, a former CPM MLA and Citu’s Burdwan unit vice-president.

At Singh’s home, his widow is still in a state of shock. “I don’t know what will happen to my two little sons. My husband was the sole earning member,” Baby said, clutching Sonu, 13, and Monu, 10.

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