Prime accused in Bengal student lynching remanded to custody

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

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, on the suspicion of being a cattle thief.

The Trinamool leader was arrested on late Thursday night near Duttapukur in neighbouring North 24 Parganas district.

“On Friday, Mallik was presented before a court in Diamond Harbour which remanded him to police custody till May 26,” said a police officer.

Mallik failed to find an advocate to defend him after the Diamond Harbour Bar Association announced its decision that none of its members will represent the Trinamool leader in the case.

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The Trinamool leader’s arrest comes in the wake of the victim’s family demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the incident alleging the police to be “biased”.

While the family has named 10 people in its complaint including Mallik alleged to have led the lynching, the police so far 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, accused him of stealing a buffalo and thrashed him. He was declared brought dead by the city’s SSKM Hospital.

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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