Woman died during Asansol riots, allegedly run over by police vehicle
While Asansol Durgapur Police commissioner dismissed the allegation, the mayor of Asansol Municipal Corporation, who is also an MLA, forwarded the complaint of the family to the higher authorities for investigation.Updated: Apr 03, 2018, 09:53 IST
On March 28, when Asansol town in Bengal’s West Burdwan district was rocked by communal clashes, 44-year Pratima Devi Raut rushed out of her residence at Ram Krishna Dangal looking for her elder son, who had gone out.
Braving the clashes that were going around, she reached Rupkatha cinema hall near Dhadka crossing within a few minutes. Suddenly, she was hit on her face by a tear-gas shell that the police fired trying to disperse two warring groups.
The shock threw her on to the ground, when a police vehicle allegedly ran over her.
“My mother was a heart patient. She fell on the road unconscious, and was run over by a speeding Bolero that belonged to the police. She was taken to the district hospital, where she died shortly,” alleged her elder son Sandip, 21.
“The impact of the shell crushed her jaw,” he added.
The incident happened around midday.
Sandip Raut said the family is waiting for the post-mortem report following which they will decide whether to lodge an FIR. “We are scared to lodge an FIR since it might invite the wrath of the police. However, we lodged a complaint with Jitendra Tiwari, the mayor of Asansol Municipal Corporation (AMC),” he said.
Though L N Meena, the commissioner of Asansol Durgapur Police dismissed the allegation, AMC mayor and Trinamool Congress MLA from Pandaveswar, Jitendra Tiwari admitted receiving the complaint from the family.
“I have forwarded their complaint to the higher police authorities with a request to start a high-level probe. The state government has decided to immediately pay a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the family,” said Tiwari.
The woman had a small business of making chapatis and pickle that she sold through local eateries.
Her husband is a cancer patient. The couple has three daughters and two sons.
Sandip Raut, whom his mother went out looking for, later returned home safely.
Pratima Devi Raut’s was the second life to be lost in Asansol in last week’s violence. On March 27, the 16-year-old son of maulana Imdadul Rashidi, the imam of a mosque in Asansol, went missing. His body was found later.
In Raniganj, on March 26, Mahesh Mondal, a porter was killed in a clash.