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Youth kin skip rally

The police on Sunday organised a rally at Bamangachhi to “spread awareness against hooch trade and criminal activities” but family members of slain anti-hooch campaigner Sourav Chowdhury stayed away from the march.

“We did not join the march as most of the participants were political activists. Besides, no one from the administration intimated us that the police were organising such a rally,” said Sourav’s brother Sandip Chowdhury.

The dismembered body of the 22-year-old was found beside the railway tracks near Barasat on July 5. Key accused Shyamal Karmakar and several others are behind bars for the murder.

Sub-divisional police officer Subir Chowdhury said cops in two autorickshaws had roamed the area over the past two days, announcing the schedule and the purpose of the rally.

“We did not invite anyone individually to the Jana Chetana Michhil (People’s Awareness Rally). We made announcements about the march over two days. Around 300 people turned up hearing the announcements,” Chowdhury said.

The members of Pratibadi Mancha in Bamangachhi, which was formed after Sourav’s death, stayed away from the rally, too.

A section of Bamangachhi residents said the rally was an attempt at building a forum that would function as an alternative to the Pratibadi Mancha.

On July 17, Trinamul organised a rally on the same issue. It was led by Sunil Mukherjee, the chairman of Barasat Municipality. “Trinamul had no role in today’s rally. It was organised by the administration,” Mukherjee said.