The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Man dies of blows and neglect over Rs 100

Alipurduar, Oct. 8: A resident of the Jateswar I panchayat area, around 60km from here, lost his life over Rs 100 that he had taken as loan.

In mid-September this year, Dhaniram Oraon of Karaibari village took the loan from Birsha Oraon who lives in the same area. As mortgage, he had given the papers of his 8-decimal (0.08 acre) land to Birsha. The latter is known to lend money on interest and owns land in the village.

On September 26, Dhaniram went to pay back the money and claim his papers. Birsha, however, refused to return them and Dhaniram came back empty-handed.

Around 9pm the same day, Birsha and six of his friends reached Dhaniram’s house and beat him up severely with sticks and belts. When his brother Rakesh tried to intervene, he, too, was roughed up.

The gang also asked Dhaniram not to go to the hospital or to the police station. They threatened to kill his family members otherwise. Dhaniram’s family did not dare to disobey and a quack was consulted instead.

“My brother suffered injuries on his back, legs and chest. A doctor was giving medicine and he seemed to be getting better. But last night he suddenly complained of breathing problems and died soon after,” said Rakesh.

Following Dhaniram’s death, his wife Lalo filed an FIR at the Falakata police station this morning against the seven people involved. Police have sent the body to the Alipurduar district hospital for post-mortem.

“We have started investigations,” said K.B. Dorji, the Alipurduar additional police superintendent.

The local panchayat member, Siren Karji, said he had heard about the incident only a few days ago and had offered to go with Dhaniram to hospital. He, however, had refused out of fear. “Unfortunately he died last night. I have informed the local administration and asked them to take immediate action.”

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