The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Peril pothole kills cop
Bitter words for CMC, hospital

A pothole proved fatal for a sub-inspector, who drove into it late on Wednesday, fell off his motorcycle and, some 10 hours later, succumbed to his injuries.

Arun Majumder, 45, of the Criminal Investigation Wing, was returning to his Baranagar home after attending a refresher course at the Police Training School on Wednesday night. At around 11.30 pm, near the dark stretch of the Padmapukur island on CIT Road, his front wheel slammed into a pothole.

Majumder lost control of his bike and toppled over, hitting his head against the road, as his helmet flew off. The sub-inspector lay by the pothole, clutching his head in pain. A patrol from Beniapukur police station stopped when it noticed a man lying on the road. They picked up Majumder and rushed him to National Medical College and Hospital. After fighting for his life for over 10 hours, the sub-inspector was declared dead by attending doctors on Thursday morning.

Majumder, who hails from New Jalpaiguri, used to stay at the Baranagar police quarters with his wife and 12-year-old son. “His parents have been informed,” said deputy commissioner of police (detective department) Soumen Mitra.

Referring to the pothole as a death trap, Mitra said it could have claimed anybody’s life. “I don’t know why it had not been repaired at all,” he said, adding that the police were looking at the possibility of prosecuting the civic authorities for this lapse. “Let us complete our investigations and then we will decide on the future course of action,” Mitra stated.

On Thursday afternoon, as news of the sub-inspector’s death spread, a road repair team from the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) rushed to the CIT Road spot and hastily covered the pothole with bricks, sand and stone chips. “It took the death of an innocent citizen for them to wake up to the need to fill up the pothole,” lamented an employee of a sweetshop nearby.

“He (Majumder) was very hardworking and was recently promoted to the post of sub-inspector from constable,” disclosed a senior officer of his department. And if some of his colleagues had bitter words about the civic administration for failing to repair the road, others complained of how shabbily Majumder had been treated at National Medical College and Hospital. “No doctor was available when we brought him in around 11.45 pm. For over half an hour, Majumder was writhing in pain and there was no one to take care of him,” a senior officer alleged.

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