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Harassers released on bail

The four youths who were arrested on Wednesday night for allegedly molesting an 18-year-old girl and assaulting her mother in Barasat have been granted bail amid allegations that police deliberately slapped them with soft charges.

Raju Paramanna, Surojit Sarkar, Tarak Das and Somnath Saha, all in their mid-20s, were picked up from various pockets of Barasat following a complaint lodged by the mother-daughter duo.

All were booked under IPC sections 354 (outrage of modesty), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult a woman’s modesty) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).

“Harsher charges should have been slapped on the accused. This was not the first time a woman was attacked in Barasat. Police need to take exemplary action,” said a resident of Station Road.

The police, however, rubbished the allegations. “We pressed the charges according to the complaint lodged by the victims and the findings of our investigation,” said an officer.

The victim, a Class XII student, was teased in the presence of her mother while she was returning from a private coaching class around 8pm on Wednesday.