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Architect arrested

Darjeeling, Sept. 14: Pravin Mukhia, a Darjeeling-based architect who has designed the under-construction Gorkha War Museum, was arrested yesterday for allegedly kidnapping two 17-year-old girls and confining them to one of his houses near Siliguri.

Lodhama police picked him up from the Salbari market and rescued the girls yesterday. Mukhia, 52, was produced in the chief judicial magistrate’s court today and remanded in judicial custody till September 28.

Assistant public prosecutor Pankaj Prasad said Mukhia had been slapped with sections 363, 365 and 368 (kidnapping and confinement against will) of the IPC.

The lawyer said the girls had gone missing from Lodhoma, about 70km from Darjeeling, on September 5.

The girls’ confinement came to light when one of them managed to speak to her friend from Lodhama, he said.