Burdwan, Oct. 2: Two women filling water from a roadside tap were killed this morning when a private bus mounted a pavement to escape collision with a government bus in Bankura.
Five women and a child were injured. All of them were at the tap around 8.30 in the morning. They were admitted to Bankura Sammilani Medical College.
The buses, the police said, were travelling at great speed. When the private bus went up on the narrow pavement, the women were busy with the everyday chore. The dead were identified as Sadhana Sutradhar, 52, and Shyamali Ruidas, 43.
Residents of Chowdhurypara on Bankura-Sonamukhi Road, 260 km from Calcutta, blocked traffic, fought police and smashed both the buses. Traffic remained stuck for about three hours because of the roadblock.
The police said the mob set the state bus on fire, broke the windscreen and windowpanes of the other bus and hurled stones and brickbats at them. The two drivers gave the slip to both the mob and the police.
Four constables and a sub-inspector, who first reached the scene, fled realising that they were heavily outnumbered by an angry mob. The sub-inspector and two constables were beaten up before they managed to flee.
The blockade led to a severe traffic snarl and it took two hours for the fire brigade and police reinforcements to reach the spot from Bankura town.
After fresh forces arrived, the mob again went on the offensive. The police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the stone-pelting residents. More than a dozen persons were injured in the clash. Four of them were admitted to the medical college and the rest were taken to the Sonamukhi health centre, about 40 km away.
District superintendent of police Niraj Kumar Singh said five persons were arrested. Jawans of the Rapid Action Force were deployed to defuse tension.
Less than a month ago, the deaths of a father and his two sons who were on way to school sparked a mob rage in Durgapur in neighbouring Burdwan.
Policemen had to flee the scene of accident on September 4 as well. A police officer was chased and beaten up. Outnumbered and under threat, the police had to open fire, leading to three more deaths. It was a fortuitous escape today from a repeat of the bloody Thursday.
Cyclist killed: Phontu Sardar, 28, who was on a cycle, was hit by a private car in Diamond Harbour, South 24-Parganas. He succumbed to injuries in the subdivisional hospital there.