1 lynched to death, 2 injured by mob in West Bengal
Midnapore/Berhampore, Oct 13: An unidentified man was killed and two others were seriously injured in an assault by mobs in separate incidents in two districts of West Bengal early on Sunday, police said.
The man, around 30-year-old, died in Salkia area of Howrah district after he was beaten up by locals near a warehouse. He was tied up to a tree.
“The youth was suspected to be a thief. We are trying to identify the culprits from footage caught on security cameras installed in the area. One person has been detained for questioning,” Y Raghubanshi, Howrah city police’s deputy commissioner of police (north), said.
In another incident, two men were thrashed in the English Bazar area of Malda district on suspicion that they were thieves. Haiyul Sheikh, 22, and Salam Sheikh, 20, were allegedly loitering near Pirojpur Women’s College when some locals caught them. When they said that they were from Sujapur in the district’s Kaliachak area, which is notorious for organised crime, residents started thrashing them.
Officers from English Bazar police station rescued the men and took them to the Malda Medical College and Hospital (MMCH). “Haiyul and I were going to meet a friend who lives near the college. Local people assumed that we were thieves. Had police not arrived the mob would have killed us,” Salam Sheikh said.
An officer of English Bazar police station said on condition of anonymity that they have started a probe.
“We are also trying to find out what the two youths were doing so late in the night,” the official added.
Theft of motorcycles has been on the rise in the English Bazar area in recent months.
The local police busted an inter-state gang on Saturday night. Two alleged gang members were arrested and six stolen motorcycles recovered from their possession.
“The gang used to steal motorcycles from Malda and sell these in Jharkhand and other states,” Malda’s superintendent of police Alok Rajoria said.
The West Bengal assembly passed a bill in August to prevent and punish mob assaults and lynching with a provision for the death sentence.
The bill came in the aftermath of a string of incidents of people being beaten to death over rumours of cattle smuggling and child theft in the state.