Rabiul, a witness in the NRS lynching case who could hold the key to identifying offenders, has gone missing after he spoke to the media about watching medical students beating up Korban Shah on November 16 over alleged mobile theft.
Police sources said two labour contractors were detained on Monday for questioning over Rabiul’s whereabouts. Dhrubojyoti Dey, DC (East Suburban Division), conceded the disappearance of Rabiul would hurt the investigation. “It has become one of the prime objectives now for investigating officers to track Rabiul who has disappeared without any trace,” Dey said. None of the accused has been identified in the medical hostel incident.
The police have now sought the video footage Rabiul’s interaction with the media.
Rabiul, a contractual labourer who is said to be from Murshidabad, is the only eyewitness who confirmed that a youth was beaten to death at the NRS hostel. “I had seen the youth tied to the pillar being thrashed by 10 to 12 students (junior doctors and medical students) with bamboo sticks,” Rabiul had told the media on November 16, soon after the gruesome incident came to light.
“From the contractor who had hired him, it was found that he was hired from Ultadanga station for the work and his personal details had not been taken,” Dey said.
Meanwhile, Robin Mondal, the investigating officer in the case, has been removed. The case has now been handed over to Manab Das, an additional OC at the police station.
The officials denied suggestions that Mondal was removed as the investigation into the incident was slow, saying it was a sensitive case. They also pointed out that a PIL has been filed at the Kolkata High Court over the alleged slow investigation, leading to more pressure on the investigators and thus, the need for a senior officer.
Labourers working at the hostel terrace too said they were also being interrogated “everyday”.
Earlier on Monday, Korban’s wife Arijina Begum, former CPM minister Kanti Ganguly, ex-MP Sujan Chakraborty and their supporters blocked the roads near the Entally PS, which is probing the lynching case.