A 52-year-old former Armyman was allegedly attacked by a group of youths for protesting against the consumption of hooch in front of his house at Milki-Notuntola village in Malda late Saturday. When others came to help Nazir Sheikh, the accused reportedly shot at them as well before fleeing.
Nazir, who had been admitted to a local hospital, has lodged a complaint against eight persons at the English Bazar police station. No arrests have yet been made in the case.
The complaint has alleged that local goons had been selling and consuming hooch in front of Nazir’s house for the last few days. “Around 11 pm on Saturday, there was reportedly a noisy brawl… When Nazir protested, the youths started hurling abuses. It has been alleged that they attacked Nazir with firearms and empty liquor bottles. One such bottle smashed his head and left him with a fractured skull,” an officer of English Bazar police station said.
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Sources said when Nazir raised an alarm, his neighbours came out of their houses to help but the youths fired two rounds into the air and fled.
“These anti-social elements would consume alcohol and disturb the residents almost every night. They consume liquor near my house and pass comments at women. I was returning on my cycle last night when they were brawling. I told them not to drink alcohol and to leave the place immediately. Suddenly, they attacked me. I had no idea they were carrying firearms.
The first threatened me with firearms and then smashed two bottles on my head,” Nazir said at the hospital.
Alleging police inaction, Nizam Ali, a Milki gram panchayat official, said: “Police had been informed about the illegal selling and drinking of alcohol several times but it took no action.”
Police, however, brushed aside the allegations. “English Bazar police station personnel have started a probe. They have been instructed to arrest offenders as soon as possible,” said a senior district police officer.
In a similar incident at Krishnanagar in Nadia district, members of a family were allegedly attacked on Saturday night for protesting against consumption of alcohol, marijuana and eve-teasing by a group of youths.