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8 Feb 2017

Youth held for rape and murder of teen

TT, Feb. 7: A young, unemployed man who had been allegedly seen drinking in the open next to a Sonarpur house on Sunday night has been arrested for the rape and murder of the Class X student found dead in a room there the next morning.
"The post-mortem report mentions rape. The victim was hit on the head with a blunt object and strangulated while her grandmother slept in an adjoining room," a police officer said today.
A flower vase has been identified as the blunt weapon with which the accused struck the victim.
Investigators said Amit Roy, 26, had "confessed" to killing the girl. He was produced in the Baruipur court and remanded in police custody for 10 days.
There might have been one or more persons with the prime accused during the crime, the police said.
The possibility of sexual assault before murder had been mentioned in the FIR filed by the girl's father at Sonarpur police station. The police are now investigating whether she was gang-raped.
The police officer said the teenager, who was studying when her grandmother last saw her alive around midnight on Sunday, was possibly asleep when one or more intruders entered the room by cutting through the flimsy wall made of cane strips woven together like a mat.
"It appears that the girl was attacked in her sleep. Her grandmother, who was asleep in the adjoining room, did not hear any sound. That could be because the girl was gagged. We have yet to ascertain whether she became unconscious after being hit by the flower vase and the assailant(s) raped her," the officer said.
According to the grandmother's statement to the police, the girl had told her she wanted to study for some time when asked to come and sleep in the room they shared. "I saw her studying around 12.30am (on Monday). I think she fell asleep there because she was very tired. She would help me do the household work in the morning before going to her father's sweet shop in a nearby market to manage the cash counter. After returning home in the afternoon, she sometimes used to go for private tuition," the elderly woman said.
The victim's neighbours said that even though she was only 16 years old, her maturity and sense of responsibility exceeded her years.
Minutes after news of Amit's arrest today spread in the neighbourhood, a 150-strong mob turned up in front of his house and went on the rampage. Furniture and utensils in the house were thrown into a pond and windowpanes smashed.
Residents of the area alleged that Amit was notorious for making lewd remarks at girls and women walking down the road.
"I saw Amit and a few others drinking under a tree next to the girl's house on Sunday night. This has been a regular practice. The playground beside the victim's house turns into a drink den every night. They also indulge in gambling. I have sometimes thought of protesting, only to hold myself back because I am scared for my daughter, who is a student of Class XI," said a resident.
Amit's house is located a few metres from the victim's. His father died three years ago and his mother works as a domestic help in some apartments along the Bypass.
A homemaker who lives nearby alleged that she had once protested when some youths were drinking in the open. "Do you know what happened then? In the middle of the night, they hurled bricks at my house. My neighbours saw that I was being taught a lesson for raising my voice against the hoodlums. Now, nobody dares protest," the woman said.
A Trinamul Congress office stands near the victim's house and the playground where the prime accused had been allegedly drinking before the crime. A group of youths was seen in front of the party office today. Metro asked a youth whether the playground was being misused as a drink den and he said he had heard no such allegation.

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