Calcutta, Aug. 25: A schoolboy throttled another student today after their bicycles collided in a lane in Howrah's Liluah.
Police said Class IX student Digvijay Singh and Vinod Das of Class X were going to their schools around 10.30 am. Near the Liluah railway quarters, their bicycles clashed head on and both fell to the ground.
An argument broke out over who was responsible for the collision.
'It snowballed into a fight. Suddenly, 14-year-old Digvijay dug his fingers into Vinod's throat and pressed him against a railing. As Digvijay kept squeezing his throat, Vinod began to writhe in pain and gasp for breath. Gradually, he lost consciousness and collapsed,' said the Howrah additional superintendent of police (town), Kalyan Banerjee.
Seeing Vinod lying still, Digvijay sensed danger and fled. 'He is still absconding. We have launched a massive search for Digvijay,' Banerjee added.
Local people rushed in to rescue Vinod. They took him to the nearby Liluah Railway Hospital, where he died around 11 am.
The police said Vinod was a student of Bharati Hindi High School and resident of 10/2 Mukherjee Lane. Digvijay is said to be a student of Eastern Railway Hindi High School and a resident of 122 MG Road. Both the houses are in the Bally police station area.
Shocked residents of the area staged a demonstration and asked why jawans from the Railway Protection Force office located a stone's throw away did not intervene.
Vinod's father Hari Das, a railway employee, was informed of the incident by one of his neighbours, who was passing by. He rushed to the spot and helped others carry his son to the hospital.
'I can't believe this. My son never quarrelled with anyone. He was so sober and reasonable. How could a 14-year-old boy kill a friend' the father broke down as he spoke.
Vinod was Hari Das's only son. Das had three daughters before him.
Gloom descended on their locality as the news of the death spread. Vinod's neighbours said that he was a quiet chap who kept to himself. 'He was an introvert. He was attentive to his studies. We can't believe that he is no more,' one of them said.
Vinod's schoolmates and teachers rushed to the spot and demanded the immediate arrest of Digvijay.
'We have alerted all neighbouring police stations and given them his descriptions. We hope to catch him soon,' said an investigating officer.
The officer said that unlike a hardened criminal, Digvijay would not be able to retain his calm with the police hot on his heels. He added: 'I think it will not be difficult for us.'