Three civic volunteers died and six others were injured after the SUV in which they were returning to a police station overturned on NH12 at Jalalpur in Malda district on Friday.
Sources said a team of Kaliachak police had gone to Sujapur on Thursday night to arrest some people against whom warrants had been pending.
While they were returning to the police station on Friday, one of the three SUVs carrying nine civic volunteers lost control. It rammed into a road divider and overturned on the national highway.
Local people and police personnel in the other two SUVs took all the injured to Malda Medical College and Hospital where doctors pronounced three of them dead.
The deceased have been identified as Pankaj Mandal, Obaidur Sheikh and Ebanul Sheikh — all aged between 30 and 35 years.
Alam Sheikh, another civic volunteer, who suffered injuries to the head and shoulders, was immediately referred to Calcutta by the doctors.
“The SUV was heading fast towards the police station. A vehicle carrying two persons who were arrested was ahead of us while the third SUV was behind us. Suddenly, the vehicle hit something on the highway and overturned,” said Ruksena Khatun, an injured civic volunteer.
Alok Rajoria, the superintendent of police of Malda, said families of each of the deceased civic personnel would receive a compensation of Rs 6.50 lakh and a job for their immediate next of kin.
The entire cost of treatment of the injured would be borne by the state police, he added.
Gaur enters hamlet
Three persons, including a woman, got injured after a gaur (Indian bison) strayed into West Chepani village of Alipurduar district from the Chhipra forest that is under Buxa Tiger Reserve on Friday morning.
Among the injured, the woman has suffered serious injuries and has been sent to NBMCH.
Locals said after the animal got into the village, it started running around and attacked people who came near it.
As it injured the residents, foresters were informed and a team reached the spot. It took time for them to dart the animal. It was then taken away from the village and will be released in the forest in due course, said a forest officer.
The department will also bear the medical costs of the injured as per the policy, he added.