Birbhum Violence: Newlywed Couple Was Home for Festival When Burnt Alive

Lily Khatun and Kazi Sajidur Rahman were burnt to death with five of their family members.

2 min read
Birbhum Violence: Newlywed Couple Was Home for Festival When Burnt Alive

Lily Khatun had just returned home to Bogtui village, at Rampurhat, in West Bengal's Birbhum district with her husband Kaji Sajidur Rahman to celebrate Shab-e-Barat with her family. The couple got married at Birbhum's Nanur only in January this year.

When the charred bodies of eight people were recovered from Bogtui on Tuesday, 22 March, Lily, Rahman, and five of their family members were among them. Lily was 18, and Rahman was 22.

Villagers alleged that they were burnt alive when several houses were set on fire on the night of Monday, 21 March, in retaliation to the killing of Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Bhadu Sheikh.

Rahman's father Kazi Nurul Jamal told The Quint that the last time he spoke to his son was on Monday afternoon and that everything was "absolutely fine."

"Around midnight, Rahman called his friend Mohim in a panic and asked him to immediately call the police so that they could be saved."
Kazi Nurul Jamal

After that, there was no news of him, said Jamal.

Jamal tried calling his son several times the next day after Mohim's mother asked him about his whereabouts. No one answered the phone. Moments later, he found out on the news that they had been burnt alive.

Devastated, Jamal said he never imagined that his newlywed son and daughter-in-law had died.

Alleging foul play, Jamal demanded a "proper investigation" and "adequate punishment" for "those behind the murder of his son and daughter-in-law."

DGP Manoj Malviya said that all angles are being probed, and while a political angle to this can be ruled out, a personal enmity side must be considered.

At least 20 people have been arrested so far in connection with the incident. Meanwhile, the Calcutta High Court has asked DGP Malviya to ensure the witnesses' safety, including that of a minor boy who was injured in the arson.

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