Relatives mourn the death of Biswajit Mondal outside the Malda district hospital on Tuesday. Picture by Surajit Roy
Malda, Nov. 1: A 15-year-old schoolboy was hacked to death by a gang in a village near Baishnabnagar this morning apparently in revenge for his father’s campaign against criminals in the area.
Biswajit Mondal, a Class X student of Ramnagar High School, was returning from a private coaching centre in Maharajpur around 9am when he was accosted by five to six men.
“They took the boy to a nearby field, barely 500 metres from his home, and hacked him. Biswajit was brought to the district hospital where he was pronounced dead around 1pm,” said a police officer.
The boy’s father, Amulya Mondal, was on the forefront of a campaign by the people of Ramnagar to rid the village of criminals. The police set up a camp in his house a week ago to crack down on the extortionists in the village.
“They killed my son to take revenge on us. My son had left for the coaching centre and I had gone to a mill to grind turmeric. Around 11am, I was told that criminals had abducted my son and killed him mercilessly,” said Amulya, a dealer in spices.
He said since Durga Puja, Ramnagar had been overrun by “anti-socials” who were extorting money from people.
“I and other villagers, including teachers and students, tried to stand up against the criminals. We had lodged a complaint with the Baishnabnagar police but no action was taken. Then, we met the district police superintendent in Malda on October 21 and submitted a complaint naming four criminals in our area. Even the headmaster of my son’s school accompanied us when we went to meet the police chief,” said Amulya.
Ramnagar is 40km from Malda.
The victim’s uncle, Hemanta Mondal, said the goons flaunting arms were a threat to the annual Ras Mela in Ramnagar. “People are so terrorised that nobody is coming forward to organise the Mela scheduled to begin on November 10. No one is willing to take any risk and people will feel more intimidated after the murder of my nephew,” said Hemanta.
He said a lot of money was involved in organising the Ras Mela and one of the main reasons for approaching the police chief was to ensure that the area remained peaceful and was free of extortionists. “With the murder, it is clear that the police are a total failure in controlling criminals,” said Hemanta.
The district police chief, Jayanta Pal, visited Ramnagar after the murder. “I have asked the Baishnabnagar police to immediately begin combing to round up those behind the murder of the boy,” said Pal.