Days after two men were lynched by a mob in a village in Assam, the police in Palghar district issued a formal advisory warning citizens of criminal action if they fatally assault individuals trespassing on their property. The police also asked them to not believe in rumours.
The advisory asks citizens not to harm mentally challenged individuals, nomadic tribals, hawkers or any individuals who may enter their homes or farms without permission.
Citizens have been advised to inform the police and allow them to speak to a suspect instead of assuming that the intruder is a thief. “If a person dies as a result of an assault, a case of murder will be registered,” the advisory states.
The advisory also mentions an incident that took place in Aurangabad district last week, when a group of 400 villagers allegedly assaulted eight people, of whom two died of injuries.
Residents of Chandgaon village in Vaijapur taluka had suspected the men of being thieves. The deceased were prominent members of the local tribal community. The police booked over 400 people for murder and had arrested nine of the attackers.
That followed on the heels of the murder of Abhijeet Das and Nilotpal Das in Assam’s West Karbi Anglong district on the suspicion of being child-lifters.
The Palghar police also urged citizens not to believe rumours spread via social media of thieves roaming in their localities and to verify all such messages.
In Palghar district, a truck driver was attacked and killed by a mob in Wada after he allegedly passed obscene comments at two women riding on a scooter. A mob allegedly chased the truck driver, who had fled on foot after crashing the vehicle into parked cars, and brutally attacked him. The driver – Hardendra Singh (48), was declared dead after being taken to a government hospital. The police had arrested three men for his murder.
“The advisory has been issued to urge citizens not to take the law into their own hands and to report sighting suspicious individuals to the police,” said Manjunath Singe, Superintendent of Police, Palghar district.