Birbhum (WB): A 15-year-old boy’s family has alleged that he was beaten to death inside a police station in Birbhum district in south Bengal on Thursday night. The police, however, said that the boy died by suicide.

Since Friday morning, irate villagers clashed with police and blocked the National Highway by placing burnt tyres on road. The protesters also hurled projectiles, like bricks, at the police personnel when they went to disperse the crowd. The police had to resort to lathi charge.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has called a 12-hour-bandh in Mallarpur on Saturday, alleging that the boy was beaten to death because his parents were BJP supporters.

“He was treated like this because his family members are BJP supporters,” Dilip Ghosh, the State unit president of the BJP said.

According to family members of the deceased, the boy was arrested for an alleged theft and the family was informed that he would be released soon.

The boy’s father alleged that his son was beaten to death in the police station.

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Shyam Singh, Birbhum district superintendent of police, said the boy went to the toilet in the night and killed himself.

“We have ordered a magisterial probe and a post-mortem by a three-member medical panel as per the guidelines laid down by the National Human Rights Commission,” Singh said.

Several Trinamool leaders were present when the body of the boy was cremated late afternoon. Ganesh Mehena, the boy's father, who was present said, " I am in Trinamool I will always stay in Trinamool. My son used to do some 'nasha-bhang' (addiction) sometimes. He even committed theft once or twice. The police caught him. They may have given him a blow or two. We were brought here at night and saw our son had died by suicide."

Asked if he would file a complaint against the police, the father said, "We have no complaint to make. Our son has died. What will I complain about?"