The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Girl’s kin frame youth

He was punished for a crime he never committed. A 21-year-old college student, son of a businessman, had to spend seven days in the lock-up of Entally police station on the charge of kidnapping a 17-year-old girl and keeping her confined. But later, it became clear that the complaint was false and the ‘abducted’ girl admitted that she had left home after a tiff with her father.

The teenager went missing on November 27 from her Hazrabagan residence, in the Entally police station area. Her family did not initially inform police. On December 30, they filed a complaint and the college student, who lives in the same neighbourhood, was blamed.

Police did not want to arrest the youth. But the girl’s family insisted that he would sit at a nearby tea-stall whenever she went to school or for coaching classes.

“The young man was not seen in the locality after the girl’s disappearance and it led us to believe he must have abducted her,” her relatives told police. Police had no option but to arrest the young man on December 5.

“Even after arresting the youth, we kept saying the girl’s relatives should try to find her. After talking to him, it seemed he had no links with the girl’s disappearance,” said Abhranta Bandhu Majumdar, officer-in-charge of Entally police station.

Last Friday, the girl’s relatives came to know that somebody resembling her was sighted in a remote village in Joynagar. They went there, and with the help of Mandirbazar police, traced the girl to a small house belonging to Sona Mandal, the woman who had brought her there from Sealdah.

On returning home, the girl said she had gone straight to Sealdah railway station after the quarrel with her father. “I was confused and started crying. Then, the woman took me with her,” she told police.

Though Sealdah court released the young man on bail after examining the girl’s statement, he cannot forget his days in the lock-up. “I never thought I would have to share a room with criminals. But I must thank the police officers. They never treated me like a criminal,” he said.

“From the beginning, we knew he was not involved in the abduction. But the girl’s family had lodged a specific complaint,” said an official of Entally police station.

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