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Cabbie punches passenger

A man was punched by a taxi driver on Tuesday for voicing suspicion that the meter had been tampered with.

The incident comes amid a series of attacks on passengers by auto drivers.

Sanjit Shaw, 28, a resident of Muchipara area, had hired the taxi from Howrah station to go to Brabourne Road.

Shaw was getting off the cab in front of the Tea Board office around 2.45pm when he was allegedly assaulted for telling the driver that his meter was fudged, police said.

“By the time a sergeant reached the spot, the taxi driver had already punched the passenger who was shouting that he was beaten up just because he had pointed out a fault in the meter. The driver was picked up from the spot, taken to Hare Street police station and arrested,” said a police officer.

Sources said the driver, identified as Mohammd Almas Ali, told the police that the passenger had picked up a fight and was abusing him to avoid paying the fare.

Ali has been slapped under sections of wrongful confinement and voluntarily causing hurt.

Tampering of taxi meters is a common grouse among passengers.

“We often come across instances where people complain that a specific taxi has a fudged meter or that a driver had demanded extra money from them. But a taxi driver attacking a protesting passenger is rare,” said a traffic sergeant in central Calcutta.

Twin blaze

A fire broke out in a ground- floor flat at Bodyguard Lines, the police housing complex in Alipore. It started from a domestic gas cylinder. The flames were doused within 30 minutes.