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Trader shot dead in snatching

Villagers at the murder spot on Thursday

Bolpur, Aug. 30: A Birbhum trader carrying Rs 3 lakh was killed and his brother injured when four youths on bikes hurled bombs and fired at them before fleeing with the cash.

Mrinal Kanti Ojha and his younger brother Champak were walking to the Dubrajpur station to catch an early morning train to Calcutta when the youths on two motorcycles surrounded them from both sides and started firing around 200 metres away from the duo’s home. The gang then snatched the bag of cash from Campak.

Mrinal died on the spot and Champak suffered bullet injuries on his legs and abdomen. Police said he was admitted to the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital by neighbours.

Three persons have been detained.

A police officer said the two brothers were affluent hardware merchants of Nayekpara village and often travelled to Calcutta for business deals.

Mrinal’s neighbours said they rushed to the spot hearing the bullet shots and bomb blasts. “We heard what sounded like bomb blasts. I, along with some of the neighbours, rushed out of home and ran towards the spot. My brothers were lying on the ground in a pool of blood. Champak was injured and told me they were attacked by youths who fled towards the station,” said Dipanjan, the youngest of the three brothers.

The police took the body of Mrinal to the Suri Sadar Hospital for post-mortem. Dipanjan and other villagers took Champak to the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital.

Burdwan deputy inspector general of police Basab Talukdar arrived in Suri today after being informed of the incident.

“We have detained three youths from Rajnagar. We have also recovered two motorcycles and two revolvers from them. They are being interrogated,” Talukdar said.

Another police officer said the youths knew the two brothers had plans to travel to Calcutta in the morning and possibly with money.

Villagers said the incident has instilled fear in them to travel on the deserted stretch at night.