Violence erupts in Bengal’s Chopra following alleged gangrape-murder, police say woman died from “effect of poison”

National Highway 31 in Chopra in West Bengal’s Uttar Dinajpur district turned into a veritable battlefield on Sunday afternoon with buses and police vehicles torched, lathicharge by the police, firing and tear gas shells hurled following a roadblock by the local people who were out on the streets to protest the alleged grangrape and murder of a school girl.

The pitched battle between the local people and police took place for several hours starting from 2 pm on Sunday. The police were also attacked with bows and arrows leading to allegations that this was an organised political protest and attack. Over 200 people were organising the protest on the national highway that connects Kolkata with north Bengal.

The protests were regarding the death of a girl who had just passed her class X board examinations. Her body had been found under a tree after she went missing for several hours, and locals alleged that she was gangraped and murdered. Police said that initially, the local people were pacified when they were assured of a thorough investigation into the girl’s death, but some local members of a political party joined in and instigated the protesters towards violence.

West Bengal Police, from its official Twitter handle, wrote that a case has been registered and “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.”

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