Sun. May 26th, 2024

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Kolkata:

A police station in West Bengal was set on fire by people protesting against the death of a teenager whose body was found in a canal last week.

The violence took place in Kaliyaganj of Uttar Dinajpur district. People allegedly belonging to the Adivasi and Rajbangshi communities organised a “Thana gherao” programme on Tuesday afternoon protesting against alleged “police inaction” in the case. 

The police personnel started a baton charge but could not stop the mob from entering the police station and setting it on fire, said an official. 

Earlier in the day, protesters gheraoed the Superintendent of Police’s office at the Uttar Dinajpur district headquarters, Raiganj. The protest in Raiganj was BJP-organised. Police had to fire tear gas shells and lathi charge to restore law and order in the town as they faced stone-pelting.

The ruling Trinamool Congress has blamed the BJP for inciting the violence and accused it of instigating anger by claiming that the teenager’s death was case of rape and murder. The state police said the post-mortem noted that the death was “due to the effects of poisonous substances ingested”.

“Another rape & murder of a Minor Girl in WB. The dead body of a Class X student; belonging to the Rajbongshi Community, from Kaliaganj; Uttar Dinajpur was found in such condition. Days after Tribal ladies were punished with atonement ritual, this happens to a Rajbongshi girl,” Mr Adhikari had tweeted at the time. 

On April 21, the body of the 17-year-old girl was found floating in a canal in Kaliyaganj. Alleging that she was raped and killed, locals had put up road blockades by burning tyres and set several shops on fire. A large police contingent had to be rushed to the area to control the situation. The violence broke out as the police reached the spot and tried to retrieve the body and send it for post-mortem to preserve evidence.

Four Assistant Sub-Inspectors were suspended in connection with the minor girl’s death case. These four ASI’s were seen dragging the body of the teenager. 

Speaking to reporters on the weekend, Superintendent of Police Md Sana Akhtar had said, “We have received the post-mortem report today. Given the importance of the case we had set requested a three-member medical board of senior doctors and after that post-mortem was done. The family members of the victim were also there. The entire process has been videographed. According to the initial post-mortem report, the cause of death ‘was due to the ingestion of poisonous substances’ as noted.”

The West Bengal Police also appealed to the public not to spread fake news while assuring a fair investigation.  

“In response to the unfortunate death of a minor girl in Kaliaganj SP @RaiganjPolice once again assures fair investigation and as per medical reports sexual assault has been ruled out. SP appeals all not to jump on any #fakenews.” 

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