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Robbers shoot at man during police march

Two armed robbers posing as employees of a power utility raided a house and shot at a man in Barasat on Wednesday evening while police were organising a march in the area to regain confidence of the residents following a spurt in crime.

The robbers entered the house at Kaibartatala around 5pm, when the 3km march was culminating at the Champadali crossing, around 2km away.

“Two men entered the two-storeyed house of Swapan Ghosh, a transport operator and dealer in used cars, introducing themselves as employees of the West Bengal State Electricity Development Corporation Limited,” said an officer of Barasat police station.

Swapan was not home. His driver Sanjay Das, 26, answered the door. According to the complaint, the duo told Das that they had come to check the meter.

“The men pushed back Das as soon as he let them in and started demanding the keys to the almirah. He kept telling them that he was the family’s driver and had no clue where the keys were, but the robbers thought he was bluffing. One of them lost patience and fired from a single-shot. The bullet pierced Das’s upper arm. While the robber was reloading the gun, Das lunged at him in self-defence,” said the officer.

The gunshot alerted Swapan’s wife Mina, who rushed from the interior of the house. Just when she entered the room where Das was struggling with the robbers, another bullet got fired.

Das and Mina started screaming to alert neighbours, prompting the burglars to flee without taking anything.

“It seems the robbers came for money but we are not ruling out business rivalry as the reason for the attack,” said an officer.

The march, joined by 10 cops and several local youths, started around 3.30pm from Kadambagachhi, where a 52-year-old homoeopath was beaten to death after he protested the harassment of a woman by two youths.

On August 29, a Class XI girl was allegedly molested and assaulted and her mother beaten up by four youths on Barasat Station Road.

Last year, Madhyamik examinee Rajib Das was killed after he stood up to a gang that was harassing his sister.

Flier falls ill: A Dubai-bound flight from Bangkok made an unscheduled landing at the city airport on Wednesday morning after a passenger fell ill on board. Mahadi Golhari, 26, an Iranian passenger, complained of chest pain, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing at 11.10am. The Emirates flight, carrying 352 passengers, left at 12.30pm. Golhari was shifted to a hospital off VIP Road.

Murder charge: Sandip Basu Mallick, the brother of Joydeep Basu Mallick whose body was found in a lake in Patuli on Tuesday, lodged a murder complaint with Patuli police station on Wednesday against unknown persons.

Power supply: Power supply to GD Block in Salt Lake may be disrupted on Thursday and parts of Purbachal on Friday because of pre-Puja maintenance by the state electricity board.