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Brother thrashed for molest protest

- Stick for raising voice, death for eloping

Calcutta, Dec. 14: A youth in Howrah was today beaten up with bamboo poles after he confronted a group his sister had accused of molesting her when she went to collect forms for a Bengal government scheme for girls.

The 17-year-old girl had gone to a school in Uluberia along with two friends to collect forms for the Kanyashree scheme, under which girls of Classes VIII to XII who come from families with an annual income of up to Rs 1.2 lakh are given Rs 500 a year to continue their studies.

According to the girl, four youths standing at the gate of the school passed lewd comments at them.

“One of them tugged at my skirt and even tried to touch us,” the girl said in her complaint to police.

The girl, who studies in Class XII, called up her 22-year-old brother, a zari worker in nearby Amta, who hurried to the school on his bicycle. He found his sister and her friends standing in one corner of the school and the youths still passing lewd remarks.

“I went up to them and protested. They pushed me to the ground, kicked and punched me. They then beat me up with bamboo poles,” said the brother, who has been admitted to Uluberia sub-divisional hospital.

Those standing in the queue to collect the forms intervened on seeing the youth being beaten up. They caught one of the assailants, Ramiz Ali, while the other three escaped.

But the three returned with a larger group and rescued Ramiz.

The girl and her friends lodged a complaint at Uluberia police station, following which Ramiz was detained. “We are looking for the others,” a police officer said.

Residents said the four youths had criminal cases against them. It could not be immediately ascertained if they are affiliated to any political party.