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Violence erupts after a boy dies on being mowed down by tractor near Bagdogra on Tuesday

Agitated workers of Gangaram tea estate in Phansidewa block of Siliguri subdivision raised blockade on NH27 near garden that continued for four hours

Our Correspondent Siliguri Published 17.04.24, 10:30 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

Violence erupted on Tuesday after a boy died on being mowed down by a tractor near Bagdogra on Tuesday.

Agitated workers of Gangaram tea estate in Phansidewa block of Siliguri subdivision raised a blockade on NH27 near the garden that continued for four hours. The tea estate is around 20km from the city.

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When police tried to lift the blockade, protesters pelted stones at the law enforcers, prompting the latter to burst teargas shells. Eventually, the blockade was withdrawn after the police assured people that necessary steps would be taken to punish the culprits.

Sources said that around 8am two minor boys were on their way to school on a bicycle from the garden when a tractor carrying pebbles from a local stream lost control and ran over them.

The location is in Hetmuri-Singhijhora panchayat of Siliguri sub-division and under Bagdogra police station.

“One of the minors died on the spot while the other boy got seriously injured. He is under treatment at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital,” said a resident.

As the news spread, the workers and their families walked up to the highway and raised a blockade in protest at noon. "Senior officials of the administration should visit the spot and speak with us," they said, demanding immediate arrest of the tractor’s driver.

The driver is absconding.

Traffic came to a halt on the highway.

“Tractors carrying sand and pebbles regularly move through narrow roads of the tea garden. This practice has to be stopped. It is extremely unsafe,” said a protester.

At 2pm, as a large police contingent went to the highway site to get the blockade lifted, they had a heated exchange with the protesters.

Protesters pelted stones at the cops and the latter burst teargas shells. Finally, around 3pm, a senior police officer assured the mob that necessary action to give justice to the bereaved family would be taken, which made them withdraw the blockade.

“It is a shocking incident. We are with the boy’s family,” said Jagannath Roy, the panchayat head of Hetmuri-Singhijhora.

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