Violence erupted in Chopra in West Bengal’s North Dinajpur district on Sunday afternoon after a mob blocked National Highway 31 and set ablaze police vehicles and government buses after the suspected rape and murder of a teenage girl in the area.
Reports said that the girl was found dead a few hours after she left her home on Sunday in Sonapur near Siliguri.
NDTV reported that she had been missing since the night before and her family found her body under a tree after they launched a search party.
The report said that the girl had just passed her Class 10 board exams.
While her family and locals have alleged she was gangraped and murdered, the West Bengal police have said that there was no sign of sexual assault.
“Inquest by a magistrate and videography of the Post Mortem was done. As per the PM report cause of death is “effect of poison”. No injury marks anywhere in the body has been found. There is no sign of sexual or physical assault,” the West Bengal police said in a tweet.
Reports said that the violence carried on for several hours.
The New Indian Express quoted a police officer of the Chopra police station as saying, “We assured them of conducting a high-level investigation while trying to pacify the agitators. The situation worsened when some local leaders of a political party issued statements instigating the assembled locals,” said an officer of Chopra police station.
Reports said bombs were hurled and at least three buses of the North Bengal State Transport Corporation were set ablaze. An officer told PTI that three police vehicles were also set ablaze.
Police reinforcements, including Rapid Action Force, were brought in to lift the blockade and remove the protesters, the officers said.
(With PTI inputs)