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Toddler rape bid fuels mob fury

Malda, Oct. 5: A 22-year-old youth was beaten to near-death by a mob last night for allegedly trying to rape a three-year-old girl at Deshbandhupara here.

The youth, Naren Besra, was arrested and admitted to the Malda district hospital where his condition is said to be critical.

Malda police chief Dilip Mondal said a rape case has been filed against Naren, who works as a cook in an eatery on Station Road.

The inspector-in-charge of Englishbazar police station, Prasad Pradhan, said a medical test revealed injury in the girl’s private parts. “There had been an attempt to rape her,” said Pradhan.

The police said Naren lives in a rented room in the house owned by the victim’s parents. Last night around 9, he returned home drunk. He called the girl to his room ostensibly to watch TV, said her mother, who did not realise that Naren was inebriated.

The youth’s widowed mother, who works as a domestic help, was not at home at that time.

A little later, the girl’s mother heard her crying and rushed to Naren’s room, only to find the door locked. She peered through the window to find her daughter lying on the floor in a pool of blood.

The sight so shocked the mother that she screamed and fainted, said the police after questioning her. According to the law enforcers, it was the father who forced open the door and took his daughter to hospital, from where she was released this afternoon.

By that time the other tenants and the neighbours got to know of the incident and soon a hundred-strong mob dragged Naren out and began beating him with their bare hands and lathis.

Naredranath Tewari, the chairman of the Englishbazar municipality and the local ward councillor, came to know of the assault and rushed to the spot. “I called the police from my cellphone. The mob dispersed as soon as two police vans arrived,” Tewari said.

The councillor added that he went to Naren’s room and saw blood on the floor.

Naren’s mother, Jyotsna, said her son was innocent and the victim of a misunderstanding.

The police said Naren and his mother, who hail from a village in Habibpur, have been staying at the rented room for the past two years.

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