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Bengal man lynched for ‘stealing bicycle’, another assaulted by same mob

The district police could not say whether any of these men had any criminal record or whether they were caught red-handed by the mob.

india Updated: Aug 27, 2018 22:25 IST
Hindustan Times, Siliguri
West Bengal,lynching,cooch behar
Local police said Sahaj and the other man were accosted by a group of people at Chilkarhat, about 15 km from Cooch Behar town. The crowd accused them of stealing bicycles from the area.(HT File Photo)

A 50-year-old man, identified as Abu Sahaj, was lynched in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal on Monday on suspicion of being a bicycle thief. Another man, whose identity could not be established, was assaulted by the same mob.

The district police could not say whether any of these men had any criminal record or whether they were caught red-handed by the mob. No case was registered against the assaulters till Monday evening.

Sahaj, a resident of Suktabari village in the Kotwali police station area of Cooch Behar block 1, was pronounced dead at the local MJN Hospital. The unidentified man was admitted to a private nursing home.

Local police said Sahaj and the other man were accosted by a group of people at Chilkarhat, about 15 km from Cooch Behar town. The crowd accused them of stealing bicycles from the area.

“The mob that assaulted the two men comprised more than 100 people,” said a police officer who visited the spot but did not want to be identified.

On Monday evening, Bholanath Pandey superintendent of police, Cooch Behar said, “One man was lynched by the mob while another is in the hospital. We are investigating the matter.”

Other senior police officers of the district could not be reached. It could not be confirmed whether the two men knew each other and whether they were ever caught stealing. They were assaulted at the weekly village market at Chilkarhat. A large crowd was present at the spot.

Local police officers, who visited Chilkarhat, could not say anything about Abu’s family. “Some local people said Abu was regularly seen at the market and assumed to be a hawker. Others said he was suspected to be a bicycle thief. None of this could be confirmed,” a junior police officer said on condition of anonymity.

First Published: Aug 27, 2018 22:25 IST