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Malda youth in police remand

Malda, April 8: The youth arrested in connection with an alleged attempt to rape a 30-year-old woman, who committed suicide after being humiliated in a kangaroo court, was remanded in police custody for three days today.

Malda police chief Rajesh Yadav said the youth had fled to Bihar after the woman had set herself on fire on Wednesday. She died the next day.

“He had crossed the Ganga to reach Bihar. There he stayed with a relative in Amdabad and two days later, the youth shifted to Katihar. Then he went to Purnea from where he was arrested yesterday. Earlier, we had arrested the youth’s mother and another person,” he said.

Police sources said the youth was brought to Manikchak police station around midnight yesterday.

“Today, the chief judicial magistrate’s court here remanded him in three days’ police custody. We are going to interrogate him,” Yadav said.

Sources said the youth had told the police that he had gone to the woman’s house on March 31 but did not rape her. “The youth has admitted that he went to the woman’s house but he did not rape her. He told us he did not know why the woman committed suicide,” said the source.

After the incident, a shalishi meeting was called in the village and the youth was asked to touch the woman’s feet and ask for forgiveness.

The youth 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.

Sources said the police had prepared a list of 28 names of those who had attended the shalishi meeting. All of them were absconding.

The incident had prompted the high court to start a suo motu case on Friday.

The court had 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 Malda police also.

Today, the DM, the police chief and the district judge submitted separate reports to the court following which, the division bench of Chief Justice A.K. Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi decided to start the proceeding.

“We have received the reports. Now, let us go through them. Then we will fix the hearing date,” Mishra said.