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Snatch & shoot in busy market

A youth snatched a gold chain from an elderly woman and shot at a man who tried to stop him and his accomplices from fleeing on a bike on Friday morning. And all this at a busy market in Baghajatin.

The bullet missed Bhola, a flower seller, but the youths managed to flee.

Nanda Kundu, 68, a resident of Kumudini Apartment in the Central Park area, was on her way home after buying flowers from Bhola’s shop when a youth snatched her gold chain, weighing around 20gm, and ran towards a motorbike waiting at a distance.

Bhola noticed the incident and chased the youth. “The motorbike had barely begun to move when Bhola managed to latch on to a metal rod attached to the vehicle and started shouting ‘chor, chor’,” said Ajay Ghosh, the owner of a stationery shop nearby.

“The youth tried to push Bhola away but he wouldn’t let go of the bike. When others started running towards the bike, the youth fired. The shot missed Bhola but his grip loosened and the bike sped away,” Ghosh said.

Witnesses said all three youths were in their early twenties. The rider wore a helmet but the other two were without any headgear. No one could note down the registration number of the motorbike.

“Two youths on a bike were waiting 10 metres from the flower shop and the youth who snatched the chain was standing across the road. None of them looked familiar,” said Nabin Mullick, a resident of the area for 40 years who was buying fish when the incident occurred around 7.45am.

Metro visited the area later in the day and spotted a hole on the road where the bullet had hit. “We have collected the bullet shell from and it seems like the youth used a country-made single shot,” said a senior officer of Jadavpur police station.

Police said a similar snatching had been reported from the area earlier this year. “We are checking if the same gang was behind Friday’s act,” the officer said.

The snatch-and-shoot has left local residents wary. “Cops hardly patrol this area,” complained Saikat Dasgupta, who lives in a four-storey building.

The victim refused to speak.