Several vehicles were torched and a few policemen were injured, as violent protests rocked Kolkata's Behala area on Friday after a speeding truck crushed a six-year-old boy and left his father battling for life in hospital, officials said.
The accident took place around 6.30 am when the Class-2 student and his father were crossing the Behala Chowrasta, they said.
The father of the deceased boy, Souranil Sarkar, is undergoing treatment at state-run SSKM Hospital. Souranil was a student of Class 2 at Barisha High School.
Police fire tear gas shells at protesters
Locals and parents of other children immediately took to the streets following the incident, protesting against the "lack" of proper policing of the major road intersection in the southern part of the city.
A number of police vehicles and private buses were set on fire, prompting the administration to deploy RAF personnel in large numbers, the officials said.
Police baton-charged protesters and fired tear gas shells to bring the situation under control, they said.
A few policemen, including Kolkata Police Joint CP (Traffic) Rupesh Kumar, suffered injuries, the officials said.
Truck driver detained
The truck driver has been apprehended from Santragachi and the vehicle was impounded, a police officer said, adding, traffic was disrupted on the busy Diamond Harbour Road for at least two hours.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has sought a report about the incident from Kolkata Police Commissioner Vineet Goyal.
Blame game begins
Meanwhile, the accident triggered a political row, with the opposition BJP accusing a section of the state police of turning a blind eye to "blatant" traffic violations by heavy vehicles.
"A section of police and civic volunteers is busy collecting money from truck drivers, ignoring traffic violations... The chief minister is responsible for this situation," Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari told reporters.
Countering him, Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said the BJP was indulging in dirty politics over the death of a child.
"Adhikari's convoy had recently mowed down a man in Ram Nagar of Purba Medinipur, and he did not even bother to get down from his car," Ghosh claimed.
Headmaster of Barisha High School Arjun Roy alleged that there is no presence of traffic police personnel in front of the educational institution, which is not the case for other private schools in the area.
"Had police been more vigilant to control the traffic outside our school, we would not have lost the child," a sobbing Roy said.