A 32-year-old man was beaten to death by a mob in Berhampur town of Murshidabad district on Wednesday morning. This comes days after the state government enacted a law making lynching punishable by death.
According to police, 32-year-old Kabir Sheikh, a resident of Sahajadpur-Fuliapara area, entered a medicine store in Lalbagh area of Berhampur town and allegedly started to damage the furniture of a doctor’s chamber. Soon, a group of people entered the chamber and beat him up. Sheikh’s body was later found on the verandah of the medicine store with his hands and legs tied with ropes.
He was taken to Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
“Two persons have been detained in the case and we are looking for others. Investigation is on,” said a senior police officer of Murshidabad district.
According to police, Sheikh used to work as a mason at Saudi Arabia and had recently returned to his village in Murshidabad.
Sources in the police said they are yet to find out why Sheikh entered the doctor’s chamber. Though police are probing whether he was mentally unstable, his family has denied any history of mental illness.
“Today morning, my husband was working in our home. Suddenly he left with some clothes. I don’t know why he went to the doctor’s chamber. I want stern punishment for those who killed my husband,” said Sheikh’s wife Aklema Bibi. The couple has two children.
M Biswas, an attendant at the doctors’ chamber who witnessed the lynching, said: “When the patients were waiting for the doctor, suddenly a person entered and lay down on a bench after switching on the air conditioner.”
“When I asked him why he was doing it, the person (Sheikh) didn’t reply, but entered the doctors’ chamber and started damaging the furniture. He even threw a table fan at me,” Biswas said, adding that he couldn’t identify anyone who thrashed Sheikh.
On August 31, the state Assembly had passed The West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill against lynching, providing for life imprisonment to those injuring a person and capital punishment for causing death.
West Bengal is the second state in the country after Rajasthan to have passed an anti-lynching law.
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