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Shots fired in fight over pond

A man was shot at following an altercation with a person who allegedly runs a building material supply syndicate at Bansdroni late on Monday.

The bullet hit Bablu Ghosh alias Nanti, who is allegedly involved in filling ponds and water bodies in the area to make space for residential buildings.

Police arrested Krishna Haldar in connection with the shooting. Prime accused Babu Sona, who is Haldar’s maternal uncle, is on the run.

The shooting happened in a residential area with standalone apartments separated by small single-storey houses. Residents said the area had witnessed a construction spurt over the past few years, most of which have come up in “ponds and water bodies that have been filled up and sold”. The area has turned into a haven for small-time promoters, sources said.

A promoter said a cottah in the area could fetch around Rs 60 lakh while flats sell at rates of more than Rs 2,800 per sq ft.

Police sources said the trigger for Monday’s incident was an altercation that started last Friday.

“Babu Sona, the supply syndicate boss, allegedly intercepted a garbage-laden truck heading for a pond inside Chowdhury Bagan, a farmhouse on the fringes of Bansdroni. He had claimed that the truck would not be allowed to dump rubbish in the pond that was being refilled without his permission. Ghosh, who had apparently sent the consignment went to spot after being told about Babu Sona’s threat. A fight broke out when the two met but they left the place soon after,” said a police officer.

Sources said Ghosh returned to Saradapara in Bansdroni where Babu Sona runs his syndicate on Monday night and allegedly challenged him. “He and two others came on a bike when he was shot at. It is not clear if he too had opened fire in retaliation,” said an officer at Bansdroni police station.

Sources said the disputed pond is under the jurisdiction of Sonarpur police in South 24-Parganas but the place of firing is within the city police area.

Residents alleged that Ghosh too had fired at Babu Sona. “He and two of his men came looking for Babu Sona. When he was not found, Ghosh fired at his nephew Krishna who had a narrow escape,” said Piltu Naskar, a resident of the area.

“It is surprising why police arrested Krishna instead of Ghosh,” he added.