Three men came riding a motorcycle and fired at a biryani outlet in Barrackpore, around 30km north of Kolkata in North 24-Parganas district, injuring two persons, on Monday afternoon.
The injured were Pradip Singh, 31, an employee of the restaurant, D Bapi Biryani, and Rajesh Mondal, a customer. Singh was hit in the chest, while Mondal suffered an injury on a finger of his left hand, police said. Both have been hospitalised.
The Barrackpore police commissioner, Manoj Verma, visited the restaurant, near the wireless crossing in Barrackpore, on the northern fringes of the city, and said a probe had been launched. “It is too early to comment on what had led to the incident,” he said.
One person was detained on Monday evening.
The wife of D Bapi Biryani’s owner, Bapi Das, told TV reporters that her husband had received an abusive call two days ago. Her family and the restaurant, she said, had been targeted earlier, too.
“My husband got a call two days ago. The caller abused my husband and said: “Your business is flourishing. Your restaurant is getting a lot of footfall, you are showing off your strength by keeping police at the parking lot',” said Bapi’s wife. “They did not ask for any money.”
She said that a few months ago, someone had attacked their house, damaged their car and called up her husband demanding money.
The police said they were trying to identify the caller.
Three men riding a bike stopped in front of D Bapi Biryani, on the Barrackpore-Barasat road, around 2.45pm.
The rider was wearing a helmet and the other two had caps.
They fired at the busy restaurant, an officer of the detective department of the Barrackpore commissionerate said.
Eyewitnesses said at least six bullets were fired.
The men drove away towards Barasat, the police said. An eyewitness said that while escaping, they fired in the air near the WBSEDCL office.
Purported CCTV footage from the spot suggests the motorcycle did not have a registration plate.
Mohammad Aslam, an employee of the restaurant who identified himself as the chef, said: “I had gone to take spices from the manager when I heard commotion outside. I rushed out and learnt that someone had fired at the restaurant. Two persons were injured. There were three men who came and fled on a motorcycle. My first reaction was to run inside and hide.”
Bapi, the owner, said: “Some construction work is going on at the rear of my restaurant. I was there when this happened.”
Several incidents of firing in Barrackpore have been reported in the past few months.