Prime accused in Bengal student lynching arrested

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Kolkata, May 13 (IANS) Trinamool Congress leader Tapas Mallik, prime accused in the lynching of a 24-year-old ITI student in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district, has been arrested, police said on Friday.

Mallik, a panchayat member representing the Trinamool, had been absconding since Monday when Koushik Purakait, an ITI student was lynched by a mob in Harindanga village near Diamond Harbour, accusing him of being a cattle thief.

“Mallik was arrested late Thursday night near Duttapukur (in neighbouring North 24 Parganas district),” said a police officer.

The family has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the incident alleging the police to be “biased”.

Meanwhile, the Diamond Harbour Bar Association said no advocate will represent Mallik who will be presented before a court on Friday.

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“As a mark of protest against this barbaric incident, the bar association has unanimously resolved that none of its members will defend Mallik. I am a Trinamool member and our MP Abhishek Banerjee has instructed that any party member indulging in any wrong doing should be dealt harshly,” said Sudip Chakraborty of the association.

While the family has named 10 people in its complaint including Mallik alleged to have led the lynching, the police have arrested five people in this connection.

Purakait had come to visit a relative’s place and was roaming around when a mob confronted him with stealing a buffalo and thrashed him.

Purakait was taken to the city’s SSKM Hospital where he was declared brought dead.

The incident attracted widespread condemnation with opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist, Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party blaming the ruling Trinamool Congress for the lynching.

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