The National Highway at Pagla Chandi within Kaliganj police station limits in Nadia turned into a battlefield this morning after two Madhyamik examinees were run over by a truck while going to the examination centre.
Four to five policemen were injured and several two-wheelers were damaged in mob violence that followed the incident.
Police identified the deceased as Masuda Khatoon and Najiba Khatoon. Both of them were residents of Mirzapur village under Panighata gram panchayat in Kaliganj and were students of Panighata High School.
The bodies have been sent for autopsy. According to local people, the girls were hit by a speeding truck while being detained on the roadside by traffic police for not wearing helmets while travelling on a motorcycle.
After the accident, a section of local residents put up a road blockade on the National Highway-34, keeping the dead bodies on the road, and ransacked a government bus and other vehicles, blaming the traffic police for the incident.
When police reached the spot to retrieve the bodies, the irate people refused to hand them over, which led to a confrontation.
The furious mob hurled stones at the police, who in turn resorted to lathi-charge.
After they were dispersed from the site, the agitators started hurling bombs at the policemen, who responded by lobbing tear-gas shells at the mob.
Additional police rushed to the area and they brought the situation under control after almost two hours, during which traffic along the national highway remained disrupted.
Local people said, the two girls were riding pillion on the motorbike of their brother, Sajidul Sheikh.
As they were travelling without helmets, traffic police stopped them near Pagla Chandi bridge and asked them to pay fine.
But Sajidul urged the police to let them go as his sisters are Madhyamik examinees and he was taking them to the examination centre at Debagram.
But whenever he tried to leave, the police held on to the motorbike and did not allow him to go. During the tug-of-war, a speeding truck hit the motorcycle, killing the two girls and leaving Sajidul injured.
Sajidul was later admitted to the local hospital. Local residents rushed to the site and put up a road blockade.
They alleged civic volunteers who were controlling traffic along with the police often took bribes from the riders of two-wheelers and overloaded trucks.
“The civic volunteers and police were so keen in taking bribes, they did not even let the Madhyamik examinees to go to the examination centre. If they had not tried to pull the motorbike, the accident would have been averted,” a local man alleged.
A senior police officer, however, denied the charges saying: “They did not wear helmets, and when the traffic volunteers asked them to stop, the biker tried to flee the spot and thus met with the accident. We will, however, investigate the allegation and if anyone is found guilty, proper action will be taken.”