Local people beat up policemen and set police vehicles on fire following a road accident in which three children were killed and one was injured after being hit by a speeding truck near Mathkal on Belgharia Expressway on Monday.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has sought a report in connection with the incident. She said: “It is sad that children were killed. I had asked Jyotipriyo Mullick and Bratya Basu to visit the spot.
Accordingly the home secretary has urged the director general of police to furnish a report on how the accident took place. Jyotipriya Mullick, the state food minister, however, said that the truck had flouted traffic norms and the accident took place when the police chased the vehicle to catch for flouting norms. He has assured all help to the family of the deceased.
Local people alleged that the accident took place when the driver tried to run away with the truck to avoid giving bribe to the on-duty policemen. RAF and a large contingent of police were deployed to bring the situation under control. Police even had to resort to lathicharge to disperse the mob. The injured boy was admitted to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital. He was later shifted to SSKM Hospital.
This morning the children - Piu Hela, Aan Hela, Aditya Hela and Guddu Hela - were returning from their maternal uncle's house with Sandip Hela.
They were waiting near Mathkal bus stop to cross the road. A speeding truck that was coming from Dunlop end lost control and hit all five of them. Two of the children died on the spot. The other two were taken to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital with severe injuries. One of them succumbed to his injuries while the other was fighting for his life.
Local people caught the truck. While the driver tried to flee after the accident he was caught. The mob damaged the truck and manhandled the driver, who was later handed over to the police.
The situation, however, took a worse turn when policemen from Dum Dum Police Station went to the spot in two jeeps. Local people started pelting stones at the police. Some youth took a constable inside a road side stall and beat him up while the other policemen ran away from the spot. The mob torched both the jeeps. Four constables were injured. A police rifle was also torched.
RAF and a large contingent of police were pressed into action who restored to lathicharge to disperse the mob and caught a few local youth on charges of attacking policemen. Police pickets were posted to maintain law and situation in the area. Belgharia Expressway is an important thoroughfare that people use to reach Howrah, Hooghly and Burdwan from Kolkata and North and South 24-Parganas. The incident led to massive traffic congestion as the road block continued for around 2 hours.
Senior police officers from Barrackpore Commisionerate also went to the spot and the road block was withdrawn when the police pushed the agitators behind.
Local people said that accidents took place in the area quite often as policemen from both Nimta and Dum Dum Police Station allegedly used to take money from trucks and heavy vehicles.
To avoid that, the drivers suddenly speed up the vehicles which results in these accidents. Local people said that even after requesting the police to abstain from bribery, they paid no heed to them.
Brushing aside all allegations, senior police officers claimed that it was no one other than the local people who had damaged the guard rails along the expressway for their own convenience.
“People are supposed to cross the road from designated places,” he said.