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Mumbai Teen With a 'Criminal Record' Lynched on Suspicion of Stealing Mobile Phone

The men started assaulting 19-year-old youth till he became unconscious, following which locals rushed him to Mahatma Phule hospital, where he was declared dead.

Updated:November 20, 2018, 6:09 PM IST
Mumbai: A 19-year-old youth was allegedly lynched by four men on suspicion of mobile phone theft in Vikhroli West's Surya Nagar. The accused brutally rained kicks and punches on him as the victim had earlier been arrested for heist and the men suspected his hand behind the recent theft as well.

The incident occurred on Monday evening when deceased Rahul Panchal left his home and the four stopped him a few meters away from his house. They started assaulting him till Panchal became unconscious, following which locals rushed him to Mahatma Phule hospital, where he was declared dead.

The police were informed about the incident and all the accused, of whom three are brothers, were arrested. They have been booked for assault, murder and criminal conspiracy.

"The accused knew the victim and they have had tiffs over several issues. Around 6 pm on Monday, when Panchal was passing by the area, they stopped him and asked him about the mobile theft. When he denied having stolen it, they started beating him up," a Vikhroli Parksite police station officer was quoted as saying by Mid-day.

However, Panchal's family members and local residents claim that he did not steal anything and that the accused are "goons" in the area who harassed everyone.

"He did not steal anything but the accused were harassing him for the past few days. There was a theft of a Rs 4,000 mobile phone from the accused’s home. However, Rahul did not steal it. Still, the accused were demanding money from him and over the past two weeks, Rahul was being intimidated and harassed by them," Pradeep Bhosle, Rahul’s brother, was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.

Residents feel that the area has become vulnerable to street crime and have demanded that a police beat chowky be set up in the area to control criminal activity, the report stated.

The Mumbai incident comes barely a week after a similar murder occurred in the national capital where a 50-year-old security guard was stabbed to death by his neighbour after the latter suspected him of stealing his phone.

Police said that the victim and the accused were drunk and they had an argument after which the accused stabbed him with a knife.
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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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