The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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First blood in Posta assault
- Terror in return bid, fear businessmen

A businessman, in his early 50s, was severely beaten up in front of several onlookers at Posta on Saturday night, allegedly by those who ran a reign of terror in the Burrabazar belt five years ago.

The attackers rained blows on Haribansh Rai and hit him on the face and chest with revolver butts, while he tried to wrest his nephew from their clutches.

A youth who came to Rai's rescue was also assaulted.

Rai has been admitted to Marwari Relief Society Hospital with severe injuries in the face and pain in the chest.

Businessmen of the area are furious over the 'laid-back' attitude of the police.

The trader, blood oozing from his nose and mouth, had gone to Burrabazar police station minutes after the attack around 11 on Saturday night. The cops took almost 12 hours to reach the hospital to record his statement.

Though Rai, in his complaint, had identified at least three of his attackers, all known to residents of the locality, no one has been arrested. Deputy commissioner (central) Ajay Kumar had only this to say on Sunday evening: 'Investigation is on and a massive hunt has been launched to net the culprits.'

The attackers whom Rai identified are Vivek Srestha, Mohammad Khalid (alias Billu) and Ranik. All three, he claimed, are henchmen of gangster China, who was once a terror in Burrabazar. 'Vivek, in fact, is China's brother,' Rai said, lying on his hospital bed.

'We had formed an organisation around five years ago, built up a strong resistance and drove out the criminals. Now, they seem to be trying to get back at us and regain a foothold in Burrabazar. The attack was a threat,' Rai added.

Recalling the event, he said: 'It was around 11 pm and a soiree was on near my press on Rabindra Sarani. My nephew Pintu was at the programme. On hearing that a gang was beating him up, I rushed to the spot. As I confronted the youths ' there were around 15 ' they pounced on me.

'Vivek and Billu took out revolvers and started hitting me on my face and chest with the butts. As I screamed, a youth of the locality, Avinash Gupta, came rushing to my aid, but he, too, was beaten up.'

Nirmal Kumar Nangalia, secretary of Onkar Chitpur Vyabsayik Samity (Rai is its vice-president) said: 'The goons are trying to terrorise us once again and extort money like they used to five years ago. We will submit a memorandum to police on Monday.'

Last year, extortionist Gopal Tiwari had fired at a tea-stall owner's nephew in broad daylight.

Following his arrest, police came to know that he was allegedly appointed by Prabhu Shankar Agarwal, the owner of a chain of confectioneries, who wanted to grab the plot on which the stall stood.

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