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‘Unidentified’ Man Lynched on Suspicion of Being Child Lifter in Bengal’s Asansol, One Accused Arrested

The lynching was the second in a week and took place barely a fortnight after the state Assembly passed the West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019 to stop such incidents.

PTI

Updated:September 11, 2019, 10:20 PM IST
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‘Unidentified’ Man Lynched on Suspicion of Being Child Lifter in Bengal’s Asansol, One Accused Arrested
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Kolkata/Asansol: A person was lynched at Asansol in West Bengal on Wednesday morning on suspicion of being a child lifter and a person has been arrested in connection with the incident, police said.

Several others have been detained for their alleged involvement in the incident which took place at Salanpur area, it said.

The lynching was the second in a week and took place barely a fortnight after the state Assembly passed the West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019 to stop such incidents.

According to officials of Asansol Durgapur Police Commissionerate, the unidentified person aged 35-40 years was allegedly moving around suspiciously in the area since

morning. He was suspected to be a child lifter, tied to a lamp post and beaten up severely by several people.

He was later untied and thrashed again by the attackers, they said.

A huge police contingent rushed to the spot on being informed about the incident and rescued the man, who later succumbed to his injuries in a state run hospital, the officials said.

"We are yet to identify the dead person. We have arrested one person and have detained few others on the basis of video clippings of the incident that went viral," a senior police official said.

"We have started a probe into the case," he added. The West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019, was passed by voice vote on August 30 in the Assembly in the

aftermath of a string of incidents in which people were beaten to death over rumours of cattle smuggling and child lifting.

The Bill has provision of jail term for three years to life imprisonment in cases of assault leading to injury, besides a fine ranging from Rs one lakh to Rs three lakh.

In the event of the victim's death, the attackers would be punished with death sentence or rigorous life imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs five lakh.

This is the second incident of lynching in the state after the passage of the bill on August 30.

On September 4, a mason Khabir Sheikh died after he was thrashed by unidentified people inside a clinic. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital.

Three other incidents of assault had been reported from various parts of the state but the victims had survived.

The incidents of lynching have kicked up a political debate in the state with TMC and BJP blaming each other for the incident.

"In the incidents of lynching law will take its own course. But I would like to mention that wherever BJP is in power or is trying to gain ground, there have been rampant incidents of lynchings," senior TMC leader and West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim said.

"The BJP and its affiliates support lynching and use it as a tool to terrorize people," he added.

The BJP, which has made deep inroads in the state and look to defeat the Mamata Banerjee government in the 2021 assembly polls, has termed the allegations against it as baseless.

"In none of these incidents no BJP leader nor worker was involved. Actually these lynchings prove that law and order has gone for a toss in Bengal under the TMC regime," state party president Dilip Ghosh said.

State Congress president Somen Mitra said the state government has failed to control incidents of lynching and should take stern action against the culprits.

Senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty criticised the TMC government and said though the state has passed the bill, it has failed to control incidents of lynching and mob assault.

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