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5 Jun 2018

Tanker kills cyclist, mob blocks road

The police vehicle that was shoved into the field on Monday.
Picture by Anirban Choudhury
TT, Jun 05, 2018, Alipurduar: A mob ransacked a police vehicle and shoved it into a roadside agricultural field during a blockade after a cyclist was mowed down by an oil tanker on Asian Highway 2 near Madarihat on Monday morning.

Traffic came to a halt along the stretch as the blockade continued for around two hours. The agitation withdrawn after police seized the killer vehicle and arrested the driver.

Sources said Md Najir Hussain, 48, a resident of Champaguri and a hawker, was heading towards Mujnai tea estate on his cycle around 6.30am. He was moving along AH2 and crossing Daldali that is under Madarihat police station of Alipurduar district.

An oil tanker was coming from the opposite direction and knocked Hussain down.

Local people rushed to the spot and stopped four tankers moving along the route, including the killer vehicle.

After 30 minutes or so, a police vehicle that was on night patrol on the highway, was moving through the spot.

The people found that only a civic volunteer was seated inside with the driver. "The vehicle was crossing the area and was not sent to the spot from the police station. The crowd thought that the police were taking the accident lightly," said a source.

The residents resorted to protests and soon, a section of them ransacked the vehicle. The driver and the civic volunteer left the spot and the protesters shoved the vehicle off the highway to an agricultural field.

Alleging delay and negligence on the part of police, they raised a blockade around 7.15am, which brought the traffic to a complete halt.

Around 8.45am, Ganesh Biswas, the additional superintendent of police, Jaigaon, reached the spot. Also, additional police forces from Madarihat police station arrived.

The police checked all the four oil tankers as the mob went on shouting and accusing the police for delay.

Biswas managed to pacify the people and the blockade was withdrawn about 9.15am.

The police identified the tanker that killed Hussain. Dilip Gogoi, the driver, and his assistant, were arrested.

"The accident was an unfortunate but the attack on the police vehicle is undesirable. We have identified six persons who were involved in the ransacking and registered a case. The situation is normal now," said A, Ravindranath, the superintendent of police, Alipurduar.

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