A Visva-Bharati research scholar from Myanmar was allegedly abducted and taken away in an SUV by seven unidentified youths from his rented home in Bolpur town on Thursday.
Victim Pannacara Than's friend Kovida, also from Myanmar and an eyewitness to the abduction episode, lodged a complaint with the varsity registrar that was later forwarded to the police.
"After receiving the complaint, we have started a specific case and a probe has been started," said Birbhum police chief Raj Narayan Mukherjee.
Than, who recently submitted his PhD thesis in Sanskrit at Visva-Bharati, left his hostel a few months ago and was staying in a rented house in Bolpur's Indira Pally area. Kovida, his friend and compatriot, was with Than on Thursday afternoon when a group of seven youths in the black SUV came and took the youth away.
In his complaint, Kovida claimed the unidentified youths also took away Than's two mobile phones.
A senior Visva-Bharati professor said Kovida informed the department about Than's alleged abduction.
"The Sanskrit department contacted the office of the acting registrar and the international students' department about the incident. Kovida is from Myanmar but not a Visva-Bharati student," said the professor.
A Visva-Bharati official said the varsity department that handles international students communicated to the Myanmar consulate about the incident. It is trying to get in touch with Than's family.
"The registrar completed all the formalities related to the incident involving a foreign student," Visva-Bharati acting public relations officer Mahua Banerjee said on Thursday evening.
A police officer said they were still in the dark about the abduction. Police are in touch with various state and central agencies to check if by chance the foreign student was detained or arrested.
"Usually if any central or state agency, other than the police, detains or arrests someone, they leave formal information with the local police station. In this case, there has been no such communication. Still, we are checking with agencies too," said a police source, adding that CCTV footage of the area from where the student went missing was also being checked.
A senior police officer said that because the student is from another country, diplomatic issues come into play in such incidents.
Than had few friends in Santiniketan. His call details are being checked, an officer said.