The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bandh kills office-goer

Dec. 1: A stone hurled by a bandh supporter bled an office-goer to death in north Bengal and bombs in south Calcu-tta scared many others as the Trinamul Congress tried to enforce the shutdown on people looking to beat it.

At least 30 people, including policemen, were injured.

When not throwing brickbats or bombs, the bandh brigade tried to squat on roads and railway tracks. But about 2,400 of them were arrested and trains on all four Eastern Railway divisions — Howrah, Sealdah, Asansol and Malda — ran normally. All flights and long-distance trains were on schedule.

Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty said around 800 state buses and 2,000 private buses plied in and around Calcutta.

Pranay Das, 58, a cashier at the block development office in North Dinajpur’s Karandighi, was killed and two other passengers were injured when Trinamul supporters hurled brickbats at a state bus on the Malda-Cooch Behar route at an intersection on the outskirts of Raiganj town.

Das was seated behind the driver. A stone smashed the windscreen, gashed the driver and hit Das on the chin.

In the face of a mob baying for blood, driver Ratan Acharya drove back to Raiganj, where Das was hospitalised.

He died around 11 am, leaving behind wife Sikha. Their two sons and a daughter had died of thalassaemia.

“He was very punctual in office,” said Mohammad Samiul Alam, the BDO.

Two persons have been arrested in connection with the death.

In Calcutta, Trinamul, SUCI and Congress supporters smashed the windscreens of several buses. Police lathicharged them in Ballygunge.

Bombs were hurled at Tollygunge and Hazra crossings. Sagar Dutta, who was travelling on a scooter, was injured in front of Basusree cinema.

“Government buses were damaged on Tollygunge Circular Road, in front of the Kalighat tram depot and on Brabourne Road. A driver was injured,” said Pradip Chatterjee, deputy commissioner of police, headquarters. Congress’s Subrata Mukherjee and Trinamul’s Rajib Deb were arrested from Gariahat.

At Hazra, bandh supporters clashed with the police. Rapid Action Force personnel swung into action and Trinamul MLA Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay was held.

Three passengers of the Calcutta-Dhaka bus were injured when Trinamul supporters attacked it near Bongaon, North 24-Parganas.

At least a dozen people, including Baruipur subdivisi-onal police officer K.P. Barui, were injured when attacked by bandh supporters at Suryapur in South 24-Parganas.

The trouble broke out around 10 am when Trinamul supporters raided the house of a CPM leader in search of Khalilur Rahaman, who had campaigned against the bandh.

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