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CIMA Gallary

2 held for bid to kidnap girl

Malda, Aug. 8: Two men were arrested last night in connection with an alleged attempt to abduct a 13-year-old girl from her aunt’s house at Bagbari here on Monday afternoon and for causing serious injuries to her father and aunt.

Bhutu Mondol, 30, and Sugrib Mondol, 40, were produced in the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court today and were remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.

They have been charged under Section 326 (causing grievous hurt with dangerous weapon), Section 448 (house trespass), Section 354 (assault or criminal force on woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and Section 34 (acts done by several persons for furthering common intent) of the IPC.

Malda police chief Jayanta Pal said as soon as a complaint had been lodged by the girl’s mother yesterday, the police began a probe. “We raided the area last night and arrested Bhutu Mondol and Sugrib Mondol from their homes. They have confessed that they had tried to kidnap the 13-year-old girl on Monday. They have also said they acted under the influence of alcohol. Both of them are known to the girl’s aunt and that is why they could enter the house when a puja was being held.”

Pal said the arrested men were known criminals at Bagbari. “They don’t face any police cases probably because people are afraid to file complaints against them. The two often drink and demand money from people. They also drive rickshaw-vans.”

The arrested duo and two-three others had entered the courtyard of Purnima Roy’s house where the 13-year-old girl had come with her parents to attend the puja. When the men tried to forcibly take the girl away, they faced a resistance from her parents and the aunt. The attackers hit the father, Naresh Majhi, and Purnima on the head with knives and both had to be admitted to hospital.

The mother, Jayanti Majhi, had alleged that Englishbazar police had refused to accept her complaint on the day of the incident and registered a case only after the intervention of Trinamul Congress leaders. The police denied the charge.

The district president of the CPM’s Ganatantrik Mahila Samity, Ratna Bhattacharya, today alleged that crimes against minor girls and women were on the rise in Malda. “We are very shocked at the state of affairs in the district. In many cases, the police even refuse to accept complaints. We question the fact that the investigation started only 24 hours after the incident. We have written to the police superintendent demanding action against the officer who was on duty at the Englishbazar police station on Monday afternoon,” she said.