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Asansol: Dharampur in East Burdwan turned into a battlefield today after a retired employee of the state public works department (PWD) was crushed to death by a lorry engaged in the expansion work of Burdwan-Katwa state highway.

Angry people torched as many as four vehicles, including the killer lorry, and blocked Burdwan-Katwa road for over two hours. Police from three police stations ~ Burdwan, Bhatar, and Dewandighi had to rush in to contain the violence and free the road.

Islam Sheikh (64) was heading towards Burdwan town on a motorcycle this morning. As he was passing through Dharampur area, he came across a stationary lorry engaged in the road extension work. At the same time, a bus from the opposite direction was crossing the area.

With there being little room to manoeuvre, the retired PWD staff slowed down his bike behind the lorry. It was during this that the lorry driver, in order to make room for the bus, started rolling the lorry backwards. In the process, the lorry crushed Sheikh under its wheels.

As soon as the news of this spread, a large number of people from nearby areas started pouring in. They set fire to the killer lorry, two earth movers, and another lorry engaged for the road expansion work. The mob then put up a blockade on the Burdwan-Katwa road.

Initially, a team from Dewandighi police station went and tried to dissuade the violent crowd. But as the situation turned grim with the mob growing more aggressive, teams from neighbouring Bhatar and Burdwan police stations rushed in along with a rapid action troop.