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Change in plan to turn up for daughter's birthday claims Calcutta man's life in train accident

Subhojit Mali was returning to celebrate his daughter's birthday when tragedy struck near New Jalpaiguri

PTI Calcutta Published 18.06.24, 05:24 PM
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A 31-year-old man had changed his plan to return from Siliguri to his Kolkata home early to celebrate his daughter's 11th birthday on Monday. All preparations had been in place, but destiny had some other plans in store.

Instead of her father Subhojit Mali, came the news of his death in the train accident at Rangapani near New Jalpaiguri railway station in the northern part of the state.

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Mali had spoken to his daughter over a video call before boarding the Kanchanjunga Express when he had promised her to get a birthday cake and take the entire family - his elderly parents, wife and two children - out to celebrate.

Calling his daughter 'Maa' (mother), Mali during their last conversation told her daughter Sristi, "I will be back home at any cost... Do not worry." Like his other family members, Srishti, a Class V student at a school in south Kolkata, is unable to accept that her father will never return home alive.

Subhajit, a resident of Jamir Line in Kolkata's Ballygunge area, had gone to Siliguri on Friday for some office work.

"He was supposed to return after a few days, but he took the train on Monday because of his daughter's birthday," the deceased's cousin Priya Pradhan told PTI.

“One of his colleagues, Suryasekhar Panda, who worked in the same organisation, also went to Siliguri. Yesterday morning, after the accident, he called from someone else's phone number at home and gave the news," she said.

Subhajit, who also has a 1.5-year-old son, used to frequent the northern states of the country, as a part of his job, Pradhan added.

"He used to take equipment of cars there. He has been in this job for the last five years... He used to return home by road, but this time he took a train as he was in a hurry to come back because of Sristi's birthday," she said.

Mali's elderly father was inconsolable.

"I do not know what to say! God should have taken me instead of my son... Who will look after his children now?" he said.

He urged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to "do something" for his daughter-in-law.

"I will not take any money from anyone, but I will request our CM to see if something can be done for my daughter-in-law. Maybe she can get a job in some state government department," he told PTI.

Local Trinamul Congress councillor Sudarshana Mukhopadhyay remembered Subho, as Mali was popularly called in the locality, as a man with a friendly demeanour, who risked his life to help people including COVID-19 patients during the lockdown period.

"Subho was a cheerful young man who was always there to help others. He even bought PPE kits with his own money and accompanied COVID patients to hospitals," Mukhopadhyay recollected.

Mali is one those who lost their lives after a goods train rammed into the stationary Sealdah-bound Kanchanjunga Express near Rangapani, 30 km from the New Jalpaiguri station in Siliguri, on Monday morning.

So far, the toll in the accident is 10, a senior doctor of the North Bengal Medical College said on Tuesday.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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