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‘Schoolboys’ in girl murder net

Malda, July 3: Three boys, including the son of a police sub-inspector, were arrested today in connection with the murder of a girl last month.

Twenty-year-old Mansur Rahman was picked up from Chanchol, 90km from here, along with Attaur Sarkar, 21, and Mustaqin Alam, 26. Mansur, whose father Abdul Mahjid is a sub-inspector of police in Raiganj court, and Attatur are students of Class XII.

The body of Jhumpa Khatoon, a student of Visva Bharati, was fished out from the Mahananda near Sahapur in the Old Malda police station area on June 15. Jhumpa, a resident of Mirchak Vivekananda Palli here, had gone missing on June 13 on her way home from her uncle’s house at Bamongola, a distance of 70km. The family lodged a missing person’s diary with the Englishbazar police station within 24 hours. “But the police did not give much importance to it. It was only after the body was found that the Old Malda police started investigating,” said a member of Jhumpa’s family.

Post-mortem reports revealed that the girl had been burnt with acid. The throat and chest bore marks of severe injury. The police suspect that she had been murdered elsewhere and her body was thrown into the river. Jhumpa was the eldest of five siblings.

Malda superintendent of police Dilip Mondal said the boys were picked up after calls on the dead girl’s cellphone were tracked down. Nili Bibi, Jhumpa’s mother, said “some persons had been calling up the number and threatening the family from the time the body was found”.

Abed Hossain, a truck driver, had bought the cellphone for his daughter six months ago. Jhumpa had left it at home the day she went missing. The phone registered as many as 19 missed calls between June 13 and June 15 on it. The police confiscated the phone, after the family lodged a complaint about the threats and the missed calls.

According to investigating officials, Mansur had come to know Jhumpa through the cellphone as the second-hand mobile had been purchased from one of his relatives.

A police official said the person who had sold it will be interrogated, too, and the girl was probably murdered at his house. “He lives in Fulbari and Jhumpa’s body was first spotted there. Later it floated to the other side of the river and further downstream from where it was fished out,” said the official.

Not only that, Mansur did not use his own cell, but made calls from a different mobile. “We traced many calls to Attatur’s cell. We are trying to find out the motive behind the murder,” said Bikash Mitra, the inspector-in-charge of the Old Malda police station.

Mahjid, who arrived here today after the news of his son’s arrest reached him, said: “My son is innocent. He is being framed.”

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