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Friend held for teenager death

Aditi Ghatak

An 18-year-old student was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the death of Aditi Ghatak, a granddaughter of film-maker Ritwik Ghatak.

Kasba resident Gyanjit Patar, who police said had been absconding for a month, was picked up from near Sonarpur railway station following a murder complaint lodged by Aditi’s mother Samhita.

Gyanjit, a Class XII student at a reputable school, was at the wheel of his family car in which 18-year-old Aditi and a few others were on a joyride when it hurtled into a roadside ditch in Sonarpur’s Kheyadanga on November 30.

“We have arrested Gyanjit Patar in connection with the death of Aditi Ghatak. We have got his police remand for seven days. We will interrogate him to find his exact involvement in the incident,” said the superintendent of South 24-Parganas police, Praveen Tripathi.

Sources at Sonarpur police station said the accused had been booked for murder as a murder complaint had been lodged in the case. “However, the charges in the chargesheet will depend on the findings of the investigation. Murder may be replaced by a less severe charge,” said an officer of the police station who refused to be named.

“Gyanjit was absconding. He was not found at his Kasba house or at any of his relative’s house. We picked him up from near Sonarpur railway station following a tip-off,” the officer added.

“Gyanjit was at the wheel and he did not have a driving licence. My daughter died because of his reckless driving,” Aditi’s mother had alleged. She also said her daughter was a good swimmer and could not have drowned unless she was drugged.

Aditi, who was studying English honours at South Calcutta Girls’ College, had gone on the joyride with a few Facebook friends when the Patars’ car met with the accident.

The girl’s lungs got filled with water and she suffered three cardiac arrests. She died at Ruby General Hospital two days later. Police sources familiar with the probe said all the friends in the car were intoxicated. Local people could pull out the others in time.