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Robbers loot buses, kill helper

Dhubri, March 13: The handyman of a Bengal-bound night super bus was killed and 15 passengers were injured when a gang of robbers attacked three buses at New Panbari on National Highway 31 under Bogribari police station of Parbatjhara sub-division in Kokrakhar district last night.

The victim was identified as Khokan Dey, 44, a resident of Railgumti locality in Bengal’s Cooch Behar town.

The injured were shifted to Dhubri civil hospital, according to a police source.

The officer-in-charge of Bogribari police station, Sushanta Majumdar, said the three Cooch Behar-bound buses bearing numbers AS15A/5562, AS15/9366 and AS15/9367, stopped at New Panbari when the drivers spotted some boulders blocking the road.

“After the buses stopped, a gang of 20-25 robbers with weapons suddenly climbed aboard and snatched valuables and cash from nearly 80-90 passengers. However, when the victim tried to resist the robbers, he was stabbed with a khukri,” he said.

Police reached the spot an hour later.

An eyewitness, Monoj Paul Choudhury, who was in another Dhubri-bound bus, said the passengers were mostly from Cooch Behar district who were returning from Shillong, where they work in brick kilns.

“They were returning after completing six months of work with their earnings. The robbers looted all the money from them,” Choudhury said.

Majumdar also claimed the police patrol van had just crossed the area before the incident took place.

After autopsy, Dey’s body was handed over to his family members.