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Hostel hafta kills youth

Forty-five nights after being beaten up by seniors and local hoodlums near his college in Bangalore, 21-year-old Arijit Banerjee succumbed to his injuries at a south Calcutta nursing home on Wednesday.

Arijit, a third-year microbiology student in Bangalore, had apparently been assaulted by some of his seniors for refusing to cough up the hafta they used to collect regularly from outstation students. He came back home for the holidays, not realising that he had suffered a haemorrhage in the head. By the time the internal bleed was detected, it was too late.

Police said Arijit had been beaten up with hockey sticks on the night of August 29. “A section of the seniors extorts money regularly from the juniors, especially those from other states. Initially, Arijit used to pay up. But he recently started protesting the extortion and was refusing to pay. He was attacked because of that,” said an officer of Charu Market police station, adding that the family was yet to lodge any formal complaint.

“The attack, carried out by some of his college seniors and local goons, took place when Arijit was returning to his hostel alone. He was beaten brutally with hockey sticks. When his hostel-mates launched a hunt, they found Arijit lying on the road and took him to a nursing home,” the officer added. The doctors let Arijit go the next day, after running a few tests. He did not complain of any uneasiness for the next month.

Arijit reached home, at Charu Chandra Place, on Mahalaya. A few days later, he complained of a severe headache. Arijit’s parents admitted him to a nursing home, where, during the course of a check-up, doctors detected internal haemorrhage.

“The scan report clearly showed blood clotting. The doctors in Bangalore may have missed it. Or it may be that the blows to the head caused the blood clots to form gradually. That could explain why there were no immediate symptoms,” said the Charu Market police station officer. “Doctors said there was nothing they could do to save Arijit.”

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