A police officer from Bihar was allegedly beaten to death by a mob during a raid in West Bengal's Uttar Dinajpur district in the early hours of Saturday, officials said. The incident happened in Pantapada village in the Goalpokhar police station area of the district after midnight when Ashwini Kumar, the Station House Officer of Kishanganj police station in Bihar, was leading a raid in connection with a motorcycle theft case, they said.
Kumar was in the village with a police team to apprehend the accused in the case that was registered in the Kishanganj police station, they said. However, he was surrounded by a mob and allegedly thrashed, officials said.
Later, a team of police personnel from the Panjipara outpost rescued him and took him to the Islampur Sadar Hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, they said. The West Bengal Police has arrested three persons in connection with the incident. They have been identified as Firoze Alam, Abuzar Alam and Sahinur Khatoon, officials said.
Uttar Dinajpur in West Bengal and Kishanganj in Bihar share a border. The body of the police officer was taken to the Kishanganj police lines during the day, following a post- mortem in Islampur.
However, Kumar's family refused to take the body after he was accorded gun salute at the police lines, alleging a conspiracy. They questioned the role of other police personnel in the team when Kumar was being thrashed by the mob.
The family also sought to known that why the West Bengal Police was not given any prior information about the raid. The fiasco over the body went on for an hour, following which Kishanganj District Magistrate Aditya Prakash and Inspector-General of Purnea Range Suresh Kumar Chowdhury along with other top officials held a meeting with Kumar's family, assuring them of an SIT probe into the incident, police said.
They then took the body to Kumar's native place in Janki Nagar in Purnea. West Bengal's Director-General of Police P Nirajnayan spoke to Bihar DGP SK Singhal and assured him full cooperation on the matter, official sources said.
In a statement, the Bihar Police said that it is looking into providing a job to Kumar's kin. Kumar joined the Bihar Police in 1994 and was transferred to Kishanganj a year ago, officials said.