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Youth death sparks mob fury

Four houses were set on fire after assailants in Begusarai shot dead a college student late on Sunday night.

The police have detained a suspect for interrogation in connection with the incident.

The trouble erupted after Pritam Kumar, an undergraduate student of Begusarai-based Cooperative College, was attacked by armed criminals at Sahuri village under the jurisdiction of Birpur police station of the district ó around 125km northeast of Patna ó around 9.30pm. His bullet-riddled body was recovered near the houses of Arjun Singh and Ugandeo Singh, both residents of the village.

The deceasedís relatives set the houses of both Arjun and Ugandeo on fire suspecting them to be involved in the murder of Pritam. Apart from the houses of the suspects, the fire engulfed two other buildings. The belongings of the four persons were completely destroyed in the incident.

Pritamís kin told the police that he was pressured by some local residents to turn hostile during trial in the case related to the murderous attack on his uncle in 2011. One Dilkhush, a resident of Sahui, was accused of hatching the plan for the attack on Pritamís uncle. A day before the incident, Pritam was beaten up, they said.

The incident triggered protests. The Birpur police had to face the ire of a section of the protesters, who were demanding immediate arrest of the culprits. Even fire-tenders were not allowed to enter the village, which was requisitioned to extinguish the flames. The protesters relented only after the superintendent of police, Harprit Kaur, promised to arrest the accused at the earliest.

Kaur said a person has been detained for interrogation.

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