A man in his mid-thirties was lynched by a mob on suspicion of being a child-lifter in Malda district on Wednesday. Police have arrested three persons in connection with the case. The incident took place at Bulbulchandi-Dubapara village in Habibpur, nearly 350 km from Kolkata. Police sources said that the mob tied the victim to an electric pole and assaulted him with sticks and iron rods. Police are yet to ascertain the identity of the victim.
Police sources said the locals found the victim to be “suspicious” and asked him what he was doing in their area. Before the victim could explain them, locals started calling him a child-lifter. A mob soon assembled at the spot, tied the man to the pole and assaulted him, police sources said.
Police rushed to the spot after being informed about the incident, and took the man to Malda Medical College and Hospital, where he died soon after. “Three locals were arrested yesterday (Wednesday) in connection with the case. They have been remanded to police custody for five days. The deceased hasn’t been identified yet,” Malda SP Arnab Ghosh told The Indian Express.
Police sources said the accused — Basu Biswas, Choton Singha and Jiban Haldar — were arrested on the basis of a video of the incident shot by an unknown person. The video had gone viral on WhatsApp, police said.
The accused were booked under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC, police sources said, adding that an FIR was filed on Thursday against unknown persons.
Habibpur Block Development Officer Subhajit Jana said they are planning to organise awareness campaigns to stop child-lifting rumours. “We will ask villagers and local clubs to participate (in those campaigns),” he said.