CRIME WATCH: 3 robbers lynched after firing – two injured as gangsters shoot at crowd – Siliguri Corridor now under gangland rule ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Islampur, Aug. 6: Three motorcycle-borne youths were beaten to death when they tried to mug a trader and flee by firing at a pursuing crowd at a market near here today.
Two persons were injured in the firing.
The incident took place around 10am when Habibur Rehman reached the Panjipara Bazar, where a leather and hide market is held on Mondays and Fridays. The trader was walking to the market when one of the three men dismounted the motorcycle and tried to snatch a bag containing money from him.
Habibur raised the alarm and he and other people around managed to grab the man who had snatched the bag. The other two men in the gang fired at the crowd and injured Habibur and a paan shop owner, Naushad Ali. While Habibur was shot on the right wrist, Naushad had a lucky escape with the bullet grazing his head.
“The crowd became furious and started raining stones on the three. The gangsters were seriously injured and fell to the ground. Still, they were beaten up mercilessly. Law enforcers from the nearby Panjipara police station reached the spot and tried to save one of the men from the clutches of the crowd. But the police failed to rescue him as the people were violent,” said an eyewitness.
The Panjipara Bazar is 25km from Islampur.
The police, however, said when they had reached the market, the trio were already dead. “Two improvised firearms and four cartridges were recovered from the spot and the motorcycle with a New Delhi registration was also seized,” said a police officer.
The three were identified as Mohammed Alfaq, 35, Mohammed Tahir, 32, and Saidul Haque, 32. While Alfaq and Tahir hailed from Dhantola, Haque was a resident of Haribhanga in Islampur. All the three had charges of robberies and even truck hijacking pending against them and were on the most wanted list of the police.
Both Habibur and Naushad were admitted to Islampur Subdivisional Hospital. Lying on the hospital bed, Habibur said he had reached the market by a private SUV that ferries passengers from Gunjaria to Panjipara, a distance of 15km, just before 10am to buy leather.
“As soon as I got off the car, one person suddenly grabbed my bag and tried to run away with it. But I resisted and began shouting and others came rushing to my aid. Then, I saw another man on a bike raising a firearm and start shooting. I was hit on the wrist. When they tried to flee, the crowd caught them,” said Habibur.
The superintendent of police of North Dinajpur, Milon Kanti Das, said a murder case had been registered, though no one had been arrested.
CPM zilla parishad member and an influential man in Panjipara, Mohammed Lal, said the trio were part of a large gang that carried out robberies in the area.
“The main members of the gang are based in Bihar. The crowd lynched them in self-defence and we will protest if the police arrest anyone from the area. Illegal activities are on the rise and the police have failed dismally in tackling crimes,” he said.
Local Congress leader Shantiranjan Mridha said the people had lost faith in the police. “That is why they took the law into their own hands and beat the three to death. What they have done is right as the police cannot keep these robbers and murderers in check,” he said.
Officer shifted for duty lapses – IG Ranvir Singh to tighten up the police responsibilities ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Raiganj, Aug. 6: The inspector-in-charge of Kaliaganj police station has been transferred to Siliguri as court inspector.
North Dinajpur police chief Milan Das said the order came after Swapan Dasgupta failed to tackle the situation on July 31 when a mob ransacked Kaliaganj police station and torched two police vehicles. The protesters were angered by the death of Congress worker Kishor Paswan.
“Some lapses on the part of the officer were found during an inquiry. His transfer order arrived from the director general’s office last night,” said Das. Paswan was found injured by the side of his motorcycle on July 31. He was taken to Raiganj hospital and later referred to Siliguri where he died.
Paswan’s father had alleged that although the youth was attacked by some rowdies, “the police said it was a case of motorcycle accident”. The allegation had triggered mob fury and several blockades had been set up across the town. “The IC should have swung into action at that moment. Instead he allowed the situation to turn worse. He also did not inform the district police headquarters about the developments,” said Das.
Reacting to the transfer order, Dasgupta said he was made a “scapegoat” and claimed that he had kept the district headquarters informed. He said five policemen, including himself, were injured when the police station was ransacked. Dasgupta also threatened to resign if further penal action was taken against him.
Chairperson of Kaliaganj municipality and local Congress leader Arun Dey Sarkar said he was happy. “From day one we had been demanding his removal.” District secretary of the CPM Bireswar Lahiri said: “The Congress had indulged in hooliganism that is why they are happy with the transfer.”