Pulled myself together, dragged him away from mob: coconut seller who saved Kolkata cop's life


PTI | Kolkata | Updated: 16-09-2022 18:48 IST | Created: 16-09-2022 18:48 IST
Pulled myself together, dragged him away from mob: coconut seller who saved Kolkata cop's life
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Mohammad Sahid on Friday carried on with his daily routine of serving coconut water to thirsty customers at his makeshift stall near a busy junction in north Kolkata.

However, three days ago, the nondescript resident of Kalabagan area turned a hero when he saved Assistant Commissioner of Police Debjit Chatterjee from being lynched by angry protesters during the BJP's march to the secretariat on Tuesday.

Recalling the incident, Sahid, who was initially scared to speak to PTI fearing reprisal, said that many protesters had gathered at the Rabindra Sarani-MG Road crossing near which his stall is located.

''There was tension everywhere, shops had downed their shutters. The officer and three other policemen arrived in a vehicle from MG Road and stopped before my stall. Suddenly, all hell broke loose. The agitators started beating up the policemen and there was no RAF personnel posted there to protect them.

''The officer was caught alone and some protesters were mercilessly thrashing him. At one point, the ACP freed himself from the clutches of the protesters and that was the time I pulled myself together and dragged him away from the mob which was abusing me for helping the policeman,'' Sahid said.

He took the police officer initially to a shop located behind his stall and then to the nearby Sundaripatti Mosque, and other shopkeepers helped him.

''We gave water to the ACP and took him to the bathroom. Despite being injured, he was enquiring about his driver and bodyguard. Those policemen received minor injuries and we took out shards of glass from their feet,'' he said.

''The police officer could have been killed since many people were mercilessly beating him up. He was wearing a helmet which also saved his life,'' Sahid said.

The police vehicle in which Chatterjee and his team were travelling was torched and the accused was later arrested.

Sahid's act has garnered praises from the police and the public in general.

''I have also heard that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee was happy with my act. The ACP sent me a message through his men that he will meet me once he gets well,'' Sahid said.

The officer-in-charge of Burrabazar Police Station also called him to the police station on Thursday and appreciated him for his act.

''I was initially scared when the police called me but heaved a sigh of relief after my efforts were praised,'' Sahid, who is yet to recover from the trauma of the incident, said.

He still fears that he might be attacked or not be allowed to put up his stall on the footpath for his act. He has been in the business, which was passed on by his father, for more than 30 years.

During the torching of the police vehicle near his stall, Sahid's 40 coconuts were gutted and 15 were damaged.

However, a non-governmental organisation took his account number and he hopes that they want to help him financially.

Notably, parts of Kolkata and Howrah turned into a battlefield as BJP protesters clashed with the police who put up barricades to prevent the agitators from marching towards the state secretariat Nabanna as part of their programme to protest the alleged corrupt practices of the ruling TMC regime.

Several police officers and BJP leaders, including Mina Devi Purohit and Swapan Dasgupta, were injured in the clashes.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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