In yet another daring murder, a 33-year-old auto-rickshaw driver was shot from point-blank range on Thursday morning at Sakherbazar, in the Thakurpukur area.
Angry residents and fellow auto-drivers of the area put up roadblocks and brought traffic on Diamond Harbour Road to a grinding halt for over three hours. They demanded that the culprits be arrested and crime be curbed in the area.
Auto services between Tollygunge Metro station and Sakherbazar remained suspended throughout the day in protest.
Additional superintendent of police (industrial) Rajesh Kumar Singh said two men were arrested in the area in the evening.
Mihir Majumdar, like every other day, dropped a few children to school and went to a tea-stall. The shop was not open and he waited by the roadside.
“Suddenly, another auto-rickshaw, with four youths in it, halted near him. The youths got off and picked a quarrel with Majumdar. A scuffle followed,” said a witness.
One of the youths whipped out a revolver and fired twice at Majumdar from point-blank range. As Majumdar slumped to the ground, the youths got into the auto and sped south, along Diamond Harbour Road.
Nobody chased the goons as there were few people around. Because of the fog, visibility was low. Majumdar’s body lay on the road for more than half an hour. A posse arrived from Thakurpukur police station and sent the body to Vidyasagar Hospital.
Around 8 am, local people put up roadblocks and the office-bound traffic was paralysed. Deputy superintendent of police (town) Subhankar Chatterjee, who had reached the spot by then, tried to persuade the agitators to lift the roadblock. They finally did so after 11 am.
Deputy superintendent Chatterjee said Majumdar was a history-sheeter and his murder was a sequel to gang rivalry. Police said Majumdar once belonged to a gang led by Kamal, a local tough. Later, he split and formed his own group and attacked Kamal’s house with bombs.
He was arrested some time ago and was out on bail. After his release, Majumdar was trying to rally his henchmen together. At the same time, Kamal’s men, too, were drawing up a plan to eliminate him, police said.
Chatterjee said some of Kamal’s accomplices were rounded up last month and a huge cache of arms was seized from them.
“During the raid, some gangsters had managed to escape. But they were hunted down in Salt Lake the same night. One of them was killed in an encounter with the police. We guess those who had escaped the police dragnet killed Majumdar,” added Chatterjee.