| Nitu Gupta, 13, who was run over and killed by a bus
Death stalked the city streets on Friday, with three pedestrians, including a schoolgirl, being killed in three mishaps.
Tragedy struck early on B.T. Road when Nitu Gupta, 13, was run over by a bus near Tallah Bridge, sparking mob fury.
A student of Class VII in Adarsh Balika Vidyalaya, near Tallah post office, Nitu left home as usual around 6 am. After getting off the bus in which she was travelling to school with some friends and teachers, she was crossing the near-deserted stretch, unaware of a private bus and a truck hurtling towards her.
The speeding bus (on route 234) mowed her down in a desperate bid to overtake the truck. Nitu died on the spot.
Some early morning passersby rushed to the spot, though a few policemen standing nearby allegedly did nothing to help.
When the driver of the killer bus tried to speed away, a mob blocked its path, forcing it to a halt. The driver managed to flee but his help was later arrested and the bus impounded. The driver was picked up from the Girish Park area later in the day.
Nitu was rushed to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, where she was declared dead.
“There is no zebra crossing on this stretch and students have to cross the road without any help from the traffic police,” lamented Nitu’s uncle, Taraknath Gupta.
“The school authorities should complain and arrange for a pedestrian crossing on the spot,” he added.
Back at the accident site, residents gathered to vent their ire by pelting passing vehicles and policemen with stones. Seven cops were injured, while two police vans and 10 other vehicles were damaged.
A crowd of about 1,000 people had gathered and a handful of policemen from Chitpur thana could do little to control the mob. When two vans from Chitpur and Cossipore police stations arrived with reinforcements, the mob turned on them.
With seven of their men suffering injuries, police finally resorted to a lathicharge to control the mob and restore order, said P. Ravi, deputy commissioner of police (north).
Police took custody of Nitu’s body and took it to Chitpur police station. Relatives of the victim complained they were initially threatened and chased away when they went to retrieve the body.
Two other mishaps left bloodstains on the streets. Deo Sharan Sharma, 57, was crushed inside the container yard of Calcutta Port Trust at Kidderpore. The driver of the vehicle did not notice Sharma while it was backing up.
Later in the afternoon, Prasenjit Saha, a 40-year-old man from Chakdah, in Nadia, was run over by a lorry belonging to the Calcutta Municipal Corporation’s conservancy wing, near Koley market. The lorry was impounded, but the driver managed to flee.