Silchar, Assam: Friends and relatives of 25-year-old Pritam Bhattacharjee held a candelight vigil in his hometown Silchar in Assam on Thursday evening. This to demand justice for the engineer, whose dead body was found under mysterious circumstances, below a pedestrian bridge at a railway station in Bihar.
On July 9, Mr Bhattacharjee, a student of atomic physics was travelling from Guwahati to Delhi in Avadh Assam express to pursue his PhD in New Delhi. When the train was passing through Naugachia in Bhagalpur in eastern Bihar, he was attacked by thieves in his compartment. His family claims that he got down at the Naugachia station, nearly 14 hours later, and informed the local police station and the Railway Police about his attack. At the station, he reportedly had a cup of tea and was on his mobile phone. 2-3 hours later, when his family tried to reach him, his cellphone was switched off. His dead body was found six days later, In Bihar, on July 15.
His distraught family says the government has done nothing to nab his killers and even the Railway police has turned a blind eye to their pleas. "The reactions of Tarun Gogoi and Nitish Kumar have been very disappointing. There have been many young men and women who have disappeared while travelling through Bihar. Whether people complain or not, nothing happens," says Dr Shankar Bhattacharjee, his father.
The local police believe that Mr Bhattacharjee was kidnapped from Naugachia itself and kept on sedatives. They say he may have died of an overdose and the kidnappers then abandoned his body. Sources say the police believe the student died 12 hours before his body was found.
In his home town, His friends and family came together demanding justice for Pritam. They are also hoping that the bigger question of railway safety is addressed, in a country where trains are the most common mode of travel.
Story first published:
July 20, 2012 12:26 IST