A 12-year-old girl was killed and two of her friends were seriously injured when a taxi knocked them down on the crowded James Long Sarani, in the Thakurpukur area, at 3 am on Monday. They were returning home after a round of pandal-hopping. The taxi-driver was beaten up by a mob when he tried to escape.
Dipika Mallik, 12, died on the spot, while sisters Suparna and Aparna Sardar were injured and admitted to M.R. Bangur Hospital in a critical condition.
Dipika, a Class V student of Rukmini Vidyamandir, was with her parents and her brother. She tried to cross the road on her own when the taxi hit her and her friends.
As the news spread, hundreds of people gathered on the spot to protest rash driving. They blocked James Long Sarani for over an hour from 8 am, demanding that speedbreakers be set up to avert accidents.
Residents of the area alleged that there was confusion for some time as policemen from both Behala and Thakurpukur thanas debated the jurisdiction of the accident site.
However, the matter was settled when policemen from Thakurpukur arrived after nearly an hour.
The taxi-driver has been arrested and admitted to Bangur Hospital. His taxi has been impounded by the police.
James Long Sarani, used as a bypass by vehicular traffic to avoid jams on Diamond Harbour Road in the Behala-Taratala area, is known for rash driving during the puja nights. The road is regarded as an “accident-prone zone”.