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Puja cash assault at Alibaba

Calcutta, Feb. 5: A group of around 25 youths demanding Saraswati Puja subscription ransacked the central kitchen of a Mughlai restaurant chain in Tangra this evening and beat up at least two employees after the owner asked them to come after February 10.

Aniruddha Guha Roy, the owner of Only Alibaba, alleged that the same group had demanded Rs 10 lakh during Durga Puja last year, but had settled for Rs 70,000 after repeated pleas.

The amount the local gang demanded this time was not immediately clear.

“This morning, they came and demanded money for Saraswati Puja. I asked them to come after February 10 as we were busy with our stall at the book fair,” Guha Roy said.

Around 8.30pm, the youths barged into the central kitchen, overturned a refrigerator and threw away hundreds of fish fillets. “Before that, they threw a computer monitor to the floor and damaged bikes kept outside for home delivery of food. They also beat up two employees,’ Guha Roy said in his FIR, lodged at Tangra police station.

The loss is yet to be estimated.

A senior police officer said: “We have started an investigation. Raids are being conducted.”

Only Alibaba, which specialises in Mughlai cuisine, has 17 outlets in Calcutta. Food is cooked in the central kitchen in Tangra and sent to the outlets daily.