The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Goons storm trader’s office, shoot him dead

Two youths stormed the Chanditala office of businessman Atul Patel, 35, and shot him through the head from point-blank range on Friday afternoon.

Inspector-general of police, south Bengal, N.R. Das, later said Patel, a resident of south Calcutta, supplied floor tiles and mosaic from his Behala office.

“He was conducting his business in office on Friday afternoon when the youths entered and pumped two rounds from an improvised revolver into him,’’ Das said. Patel was taken to a local hospital, where doctors declared him dead.

Behala police admitted late on Friday that they were clueless. “Patel was the secretary of the local Byabsayee Samity. We are trying to find out details about the man and his business transactions,’’ a senior officer of Behala thana said.

Local residents, however, alleged that it was the handiwork of some criminals of the area.

“We have lodged several complaints with the police, who have taken no action despite knowing who the troublemakers are,” they alleged.

Das, however, said senior police officers have reached the spot and are conducting a thorough enquiry. “One person has been arrested and we are trying to trace the other killer,’’ he added.

At the opposite end of town, and the night before, a 40-year-old trader, Pravas Mondol, was shot at while returning home in Salt Lake.

Additional superintendent of police Ajay Nand said Mondol was on a motorcycle when miscreants accosted him and opened fire late on Thursday.

“A bullet hit his hand and he fell off the bike,’’ he said. There was no streetlight on that stretch, allowing the goons to escape, said officers who inspected the spot later.

When Mondol started shouting for help, residents of the area rushed out to his aid and took him to a local hospital.

Doctors then referred him to R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital, where he is undergoing treatment.

Police said doctors operated upon Mondol to remove the bullet. According to relatives, the trader, who stays near Sector V and has a shop in the area, is now out of danger.

Police are struggling to find the motive behind this attack too.

“The assailants were probably well-versed with his daily routine. Mondol usually shuts shop around 7.30 pm and leaves for home. But on Thursday, he had been delayed, chatting with some friends. The assailants must have been lying in wait,’’ Nand said.

Nand said a case has been registered at Bidhannagar (East) police station. Police detained three youths for interrogation on Friday morning.

Mondol’s family members and neighbours said they were feeling “unsafe” after the attack. A police picket has been posted in the area.

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