| Rajesh Kumar. Telegraph picture |
Hundreds of hostel boarders took the violence route on Tuesday to protest against the killing of a promising Patna College student, whose life was cut short by a group of criminals.
Rajesh Kumar, who had topped the college in the Part I and II examinations, died on Monday when a few residents of Chai Tola attacked Sardar Patel Hostel at Bhikna Pahari. The irony is, the third-year sociology student had nothing to do with the Chai Tola residents. Friends and family remember the 21-year-old as a meritorious student.
Since 9am on Tuesday, boarders from private as well as those from Patna University hostels, blocked all roads leading to Ashok Rajpath and the Bhikna Pahari area. The youths, carrying the body of Rajesh, went on the rampage beating up everyone who dared their protest. They even demanded that the chief minister should visit the spot. They forcefully shut down the shops and cinemas in the area.
Not a single vehicle was allowed to move between Kulharia Complex and Engineering College Mor. The students marched towards Kargil Chowk burning tyres and pelting stones. The agitators demanded Rs 20 lakh compensation for the deceased’s kin, a job for a family member and the arrest of those involved in the incident. The police intercepted the agitating students, who were on their way back to Ashok Rajpath.
The blockade at Ashok Rajpath continued till 3.30pm. Senior superintendent of police Amrit Raj, city superintendent of police Jayant Kant, district magistrate N. Saravana Kumar and deputy inspector-general (central range) Sunil Kumar camped at the spot the entire day.
Dinanath Choudhary, the father of the deceased, has lodged a named FIR against seven persons at Kadamkuan police station. DIG Sunil Kumar said one among them, identified as Manoj Kumar, has been arrested. Manoj is a resident of Chai Tola.
“One has been arrested. The six others, including Pradeep Kumar, Subodh Mahto, Suresh Mahto, Umesh Mahto, Shailesh Mahto and Jeetendra Mahto, are on the run. But they would be arrested soon,” said the senior officer.
Around 10.30pm on Monday, the police took possession of Rajesh’s body. It was sent for post-mortem to Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH). However, a group of students raided the hospital and forcibly took away the body with them. The body was kept at the Sardar Patel Hostel.
The post-mortem was, however, conducted late on Tuesday evening and the body was handed over to the family members.
“The post-mortem report will ascertain many things. There is a bullet wound at the centre of his chest. There is a suspicion that the boy was caught, beaten up and then shot from a close range,” a police officer said.
The problem started around 9.15pm on Monday when the Sardar Patel Hostel, which houses around 200 students, was attacked by a mob.
“Some people started firing from the rooftops of the houses near the hostel. Bombs were also hurled. Rajesh, who was stepping out for dinner, was hit by a bullet. Two other students — Annu and Anil — also suffered splinter injuries. They have been admitted to the PMCH,” a student said.
According to sources, the firing was an act of revenge. On Sunday evening, a Chai Tola resident got into a heated argument with a few boarders.
“The Chai Tola resident’s motorcycle had hit a boarder. Some boarders then beat him up. On Monday, the residents of Chai Tola came back for a revenge,” the police officer added.