Youth assaulted for protesting women harassment dies in West Bengal

Kolkata: A 20-year-old college student, who slipped into coma after being assaulted for protesting the harassment of women during an idol immersion procession in West Bengal's Howrah district, succumbed to his injuries Monday.

Arup Bhandari, who was comatose since being hospitalised Jan 29, died Monday morning, said an official of the nursing home where he was admitted.

The assault took place Jan 28 when residents of Hrishikesh Ghosh Lane were taking out a Saraswati idol for immersion.

Bhandari was assaulted by many drunken youth when he protested against their lewd gestures at girls who were part of the procession.

Bhandari's family members and civil society activists have alleged inaction on the part of police.

"We filed a complaint against five people but police have so far not made even a single arrest. While my loss will never be fulfilled, at least the administration should ensure that his efforts don't go waste and the perpetrators are arrested," said Arup's brother.

Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra, who was earlier arrested for circulating emails concerning Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, slammed the Trinamool Congress government for patronising criminals.

"When it comes to arresting innocents, police are active. In this case, almost a week has passed, but police have done nothing. The attitude of this government is steadily emboldening criminals," said Mahapatra.

Painter Samir Aich and woman activist Bolan Ganguly also criticised police inaction.

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