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36-yr-old beaten on doubt of being child lifter dies in Bengal

In Malda district alone, at least eight people are admitted in hospital following mob attacks in the last 30 days.

india Updated: Jun 24, 2018 00:07 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Midnapore/Malda
Child lifters,East Midnapore district,Malda district
Deceased Sanjay Chandra had covered his face with a handkerchief because of the heat wave and some local people suspected that he was a child lifter.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A man who was suspected to be a child lifter and attacked in West Bengal’s East Midnapore district a week ago succumbed to his injuries on Saturday even as a youngster was stripped and assaulted by a mob on the same suspicion in Malda district.

Deceased Sanjay Chandra, a resident of Tamluk, was attacked when he went to Mathuri area to meet someone who had promised him a job. He had covered his face with a handkerchief because of the heat wave and some local people suspected that he was a child lifter.

Chandra reportedly told the mob that he had come to that neighbourhood to met someone but local residents did not pay any heed. He was rescued by the police and taken to Tamluk Hospital where he died.

His neighbours took out a procession, demanding arrest of the culprits.

“We have already arrested four people and are searching for other suspects,” superintendent of police East Midnapore V Soloman Neshakumar said.

It was the second mob-violence related death in West Bengal in the past ten days.

On June 13, a mob lynched an unidentified mentally challenged person in the Bulbulchandi area of Malda.

In Malda district alone, at least eight people are admitted in hospital following mob attacks in the last 30 days.

On Saturday another youngster was stripped and assaulted by a mob on suspicion of being a child lifter in the Sahapur-Chatian area of the district. The victim, whose identity is not yet known, was admitted to Malda Medical College and Hospital after he was attacked in the district’s Sahapur-Chatian area, police said.

West Bengal has witnessed an increase in incidents of mob frenzy in the recent months. On Friday, a youth from Bihar was beaten up in the Jhaljhalia Railway Colony area.

In Malda district, where most of the attacks have been reported, the administration has started an awareness campaign. But Saturday’s attack, coming within 24 hours of the last one, proved that the campaign has had little effect.

These attacks are fuelled by rumours of child lifters roaming the districts to kidnap children in order to remove their kidneys and other vital organs.

Incidentally, no child has gone missing from any neighbourhood in the recent past.

First Published: Jun 23, 2018 23:33 IST