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Arrest sway slur on Deb

Siliguri, March 19: The Congress today accused minister Gautam Deb of influencing police to arrest and slap non-bailable charges against the newly elected general secretary of the students’ union of North Bengal University after a campus clash last night.

The arrest and the subsequent charge against a Trinamul minister come when the relation between the allies in the state is not the best.

Senior Congress leaders, including MLA Shankar Malakar, Siliguri mayor Gangotri Dutta and chairperson of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation Nantu Pal, gheraoed the additional superintendent of police Amit P. Javalgi for 30 minutes demanding an explanation for the arrest of the union general secretary, Ronald Dey.

Ronald was picked up from the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital where he was admitted following the clash with Trinamul Chattra Parishad members.

The arrest triggered widespread protests by the Chattra Parishad who called for a class boycott at the NBU today and a students strike in Siliguri subdivision tomorrow.

The Congress’s student front also set up road blockades in Chopra in North Dinajpur, Naxalbari and four spots in Siliguri for about 30 minutes each. Ronald said he was beaten up with sticks by TMCP members while returning home last night.

“Deb with his power as minister is influencing police and he had specifically told them not to take any steps against TMCP members,” Malakar said.

Deb denied the charges but accused the Congress and its students front of creating chaos in educational institutions across the state.

“The police are doing their job without prejudice. One of our student leaders was mercilessly beaten up by CP members at his residence yesterday,” Deb said. ASP Javalgi refused to comment on the Congress charges.

“I will not comment on that. The police have arrested Ronald as an FIR was lodged against him. We arrested him after ascertaining about his health from the doctor,” Javalgi said.

Ronald has been charged under Section 307 (attempt to murder) and 321 (voluntarily causing hurt). Both are non-bailable charges.