A 12-hour bandh was observed on Saturday at Mallarpur block in West Bengal’s Birbhum district to protest the alleged “custodial death” of a 15-year-old boy, who police claimed had been detained for a theft. He was found dead in the toilet of the police station concerned on Thursday with police calling it death by suicide. The BJP, which called the bandh, alleged the boy died due to “police brutality.”
On Saturday, BJP youth wing president and MP Soumitra Khan staged a dharna in front of the police station and party workers gheraoed the station.
They demanded action against police personnel. Khan said: “How can the police beat up a boy so brutally? The boy’s family members are BJP supporters. That is why police tortured him.” He added that the BJP would protest across the state on the first week of November.
The boy’s death had triggered a political clash between the BJP and the TMC on Friday. TMC’s Birbhum unit chief Anubrata Mondal stated that the boy’s parents were not BJP supporters. The boy’s family, too, had claimed he died by suicide and that they support TMC.
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