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Goons fire at 5-yr-old, decamp with valuables

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KOLKATA: A gang of robbers fired at the five-year-old daughter of a businessman before decamping with valuables and cash worth Rs 4.5 lakh and a motorbike in Khardah on Monday midnight. The girl had a close shave after she showed courage to save herself by hiding under the bed. The goons also beat up the trader with a revolver butt when he tried to resist them. No one has been arrested in his connection yet.

The incident took place at around 12.30 am on Tuesday when Jhantu Haldar, the owner of a mobile shop adjacent to his house at Khardah’s Ajamtala, was about to close his shop. Three armed goons wearing masks barged into his shop and held a gun to his head. “I kept my shop open till late on Monday for the Dhanteras festival. It was around 12. 20 am, when I was about to close my shop, the four masked men brandishing guns rushed to me and shoved me inside the shop. Soon, one of them forced his gun into my mouth and others started looting valuables from my shop. Almost all the expensive cell phones were looted,” Haldar said.

The goons then took Haldar to his residence holding him at the gunpoint and looted all the gold ornaments and cash kept in the locker of an almirah. The robbers also took away a motorbike. When Haldar and his family members tried to raise an alarm, one of the gang members fired at his daughter Riya who had a close shave as the bullet missed her and hit the almirah inside their room.

“When they were taking my expensive bike away parked on barandah, I tried to resist them. Then one of them hit on my head with a revolver butt. Then my family members including my wife and daughter were shouting for help. One of them fired at my daughter who was standing at the doorstep of one of the rooms. As my daughter hid under the bed, the bullet went on hitting an almirah inside the room,” Haldar recalled.

“We are investigating whether some local criminals were involved. The local police stations have also been alerted,” said a senior officer of the Barrackpore commissionerate.

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Source: TOI-Kol

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Six hurt as TMC and BJP workers clash in Hooghly's Uttarpara

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UTTARPARA: Six people were injured, two of them seriously, when Trinamool and BJP men allegedly clashed in Hooghly’s Uttarpara on Monday night following arguments on the Bihar election results. Both BJP and Trinamool leaders made allegations and counter allegations against one another. Three BJP supporters have been arrested.

The clash sparked soon after Dilip Yadav, Trinamool chairman of Uttarpara-Kotrung Municipality, inaugurated a Kali puja at Makhla Mondolpara. While Yadav was returning, he and those accompanying him passed a spot in Mondolpara where local BJP leader Taposh Mondal was sitting with his supporters. Taposh is the defeated BJP candidate from Ward 21 in this year’s civic polls.

“Some Trinamool workers first started poking fun at us over our party’s poor show in the Bihar polls. Then, without provocation, they started beating up our supporters and set fire to our local party office,” said Taposh. “We were holding a discussion for the coming Jagaddhatri puja in our locality when the attack happened,” he added.

Yadav countered saying, “The BJP has no presence in Uttarpara and there is no reason why we should attack them. Without any provocation, four of our party supporters were beaten up by their men. They have been admitted to Uttarpara State General Hospital.

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Source: TOI-Kol

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Extortion bid lands two in police net

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KOLKATA: Within hours of a Suri magistrate being allegedly manhandled for not paying ‘appropriate’ Kali puja subscription, city police on Tuesday arrested a senior functionary of a south Kolkata club for trying to extort money from a restaurant-cum-bar. Though cops have arrested one of the accused, identified as Bubun Bhattacharya (37), they denied that the bar was vandalized.

According to the complaint filed by The Silver Oak authorities, Bhattacharya represents Dakshin Kolkata Desh Gourab Sangha on Raja Basanta Roy Road.

“The accused was in charge of collecting subscriptions and donations. He went to this restaurant and demanded Rs 40,000 from the manager. When he was refused, the accused first threatened the manager and warned of dire consequences. Acting on the complaint, a case of extortion was initiated by Lake Police. Using CCTV footage from the area, the accused was arrested from the Tollygunge area,” said DC (southeast) Gaurav Sharma.

According to sources, police may arrest a few others for their involvement in the threat. “The strongest possible section has been slapped to send out a loud message,” said a top officer at Lalbazar.

In another incident, this time in Bhowanipore in south Kolkata, police arrested one Debabrata Das, hailing from Budge Budge, around 2am on Tuesday from near Jadu Babur Bazar for trying to extort and even rob a bag full of cash, reportedly for organizing Kali Puja. When locals intervened, he threatened them with a gun. But when locals refused to give him a free way, the accused fled and took refuge at a dark alley adjoining the market. It was from here Das was arrested by Bhowanipore police. Earlier last week, police commissioner Surajit Purkayastha had instructed the officers in charge of 69 police stations to treat complaints of extortion ‘with promptness’.

However, truck operators are still not happy with police action. Most of them do not even report cases of extortion in fear of retaliation. If any complaint reaches the police control room, one of the several radio flying squads deployed in the areas would be informed. Police has made special arrangements for controlling extortion at specific localities, said a senior police officer.

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Source: TOI-Kol

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