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Malda rape-bid prime accused arrested

Malda. April 7: The youth accused of attempting to rape a young mother, who set herself on fire after being humiliated in a kangaroo court here, was arrested in Bihar this morning.

Malda police superintendent Rajesh Yadav said the accused was picked up from the house of one of his relative in Purnea, Bihar, about 250km from here.

“A team of officers from Manikchak police station arrested the main accused from Purnea on Monday. He had fled soon after the woman tried to commit suicide on Wednesday morning. We had been looking for him and three others who the victim had named in a police statement before she died on Thursday,” he said.

The 30-year-old woman has four children. Her husband, a labourer, was not at home when the incident took place.

“The investigating team had specific information and the accused was arrested with the help of Bihar police. He is being brought to Malda and will be produced in court tomorrow,” Yadav said.

He has been charged under Sections 306 (abetment of suicide), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the IPC.

The accused person’s mother and one of the four persons who had called the shalishi meeting, Biseswar Mondol, were arrested on Thursday night. Both have been charged under Section 306 of the IPC, which deals with abetment to suicide, and have been remanded in three days’ police custody.

The police have prepared a list of those who had played an active role at the shalishi on Tuesday that had asked the youth to merely seek forgiveness by touching the victim’s feet.

The incident had prompted the high court to start a suo motu case on Friday. The court directed the district judge of Malda, Bibhas Patnaik, to visit the village and submit a report on the incident. Similar instructions were given to the district magistrate and the police also. Yadav said: “We are trying to arrest the other accused. We will try and file a chargesheet as soon as we can.”