Road a battlefield after death

Mob mayhem after truck runs over student

By KOUSIK SEN in Raiganj
  • Published 10.02.18

Ransacked motorcycles and traffic police booth in Raiganj on Friday. Pictures by Kousik Sen

Raiganj: Siliguri More, the junction of NH-34 and SH-10A in Raiganj town, turned into a battlefield on Friday morning after a student was run over by a truck on the national highway while on way to school.

After the accident, a section of local residents ransacked the truck and a traffic police booth, alleging negligence by the cops in controlling rush-hour traffic.

Four to five policemen were assaulted and their two-wheelers damaged. An inspector escaped to avoid the mob fury.

Additional police forces were rushed in and they brought the situation under control after almost three hours, during which traffic remained disrupted.

Sources said Pratik Chatterjee, 15, of Sudarshanpur Dwarikaprasad Uccha Vidyachakra was crossing NH-34 when the truck went over him, killing the Class X student on the spot. Everyday Hundreds of students cross the highway to reach the school.

Locals came out and seeing the boy dying, they ransacked the truck. Soon, the mob to over 1,000 people. Carrying sticks and bamboos, they ransacked two-wheelers of the policemen parked near the booth. Such was the mayhem that Md. Jamaluddin, the inspector, fled on his two- wheeler.

"These policemen are more interested in collecting money from trucks and other vehicles. During rush hours, they do not take care to ensure safety of students and office-goers who need to cross the NH every day," said a protester.

After some time, Shyam Singh, SP, North Dinajpur, along with the SDO and some more policemen, reached the spot. They used water cannons, burst teargas shells and rubber bullets to disperse the mob.

There were allegations that the police also fired live bullets. But the officers denied it.

"A section of people turned violent after the death of the school student. Police have acted in a restrained manner," said the SP.#