Calcutta, Aug. 26: Bombs and bullets, pistol-butt blows and chopper swipes — the price that Feroze Wahid had to pay for his peace moves in a notorious part of central Calcutta.
A gang of seven attacked Wahid, a boutique owner behind New Market, this evening, to “teach him a lesson” for spearheading a “community movement to curb antisocial activities” in Wellesley Second Lane and its adjacent areas, identified by police as a cradle of crime.
The assailants came in a white Tata Sumo at 7.15 pm. The terror strike took 15 minutes. They lobbed bombs and fired in the air to keep passers-by at bay while ransacking Aafreen Boutique on Market Street. Wahid was hit with pistol butts and choppers and had to be hospitalised in a critical condition.
Swapan Chakraborty, officer-in-charge, New Market police station, said: “A case has been registered and we are investigating the matter.”
Wahid was a leading member of the one-and-a-half-month-old Wellesley Welfare and Social Organisation, formed to preserve peace in a locality bordering the CPM headquarters on Alimuddin Street. “This is nothing but an attempt to scare us,” said a resident of Wellesley 2nd Lane.
Of late, peace had returned to the lane — a den that has bred crime-lords like Gabbar, Sona and Mehfooz — thanks to the efforts of residents.