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regular-article-logo Thursday, 25 April 2024

Seven people injured as tourist SUV hits tractor near Gorumara National Park

Incident has again bared the illegal extraction and sale of minor minerals like sand, stones and pebbles from the rivers of north Bengal

Our Correspondent Jalpaiguri Published 12.01.24, 05:58 AM
A recovery van hauls the mangled SUV after the accident in Batabari on the fringes of the Gorumara National Park in Jalpaiguri on Thursday. 

A recovery van hauls the mangled SUV after the accident in Batabari on the fringes of the Gorumara National Park in Jalpaiguri on Thursday.  Biplab Basak

Six tourists and the driver of the SUV they were in got injured in western Dooars when the vehicle rammed into a tractor parked on the road near Gorumara National Park on Thursday morning.

The incident has again bared the illegal extraction and sale of minor minerals like sand, stones and pebbles from the rivers of north Bengal.

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Sources said that a few days back the tourists from Tamluk in East Midnapore checked into a resort in Murti, on the fringes of Gorumara in Jalpaiguri, and booked tickets for the car safari at the park.

On Thursday, they moved out of their resort in an SUV.

“There was intense fog as we were moving on NH31 to enter the forest and the driver couldn’t see the parked tractor parked. Our vehicle rammed into the tractor and we got injured,” said Subhajit Ganguly, a tourist.

One of the tourists, sources said, was admitted to the Malbazar hospital. Another was taken to Siliguri to a clinic but later discharged. The rest four and the driver had minor injuries.

Representatives of the Gypsy Drivers’ & Owners’ Welfare Association — an association of vehicles used in the safari — alleged that the tractor, with a carriage fitted in the rear, had illegally drawn sand and pebbles from nearby Kurti stream and was unloading them on the road.

Subhashmit Goswami, the block land and land reforms officer of Matiali, said they were looking into the charges of illegal extraction.

Bangladesh youth held

Siliguri: Ejaoul Haque, a 30-year-old from Lalmonirhat district of Bangladeshi, was nabbed by the BSF while he was allegedly trying to smuggle cattle from India into his country through a riverine stretch of the border in Cooch Behar district on Wednesday.

Troops of the BSF’s 98th battalion deployed at the Changrabandha border outpost intercepted Haque and handed him over to Mekhliganj police.

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