Bengal again: Saree-clad man beaten up on suspicion of child abduction
The victim was reportedly trying to give something to a child when the mob confronted him. He was admitted to Malda Medical College and Hospital.Updated: Jun 15, 2018 17:04 IST
Hindustan Times, Berhampore
A man was beaten up by residents of English Bazar in Malda district of West Bengal on suspicion of child lifting, barely two days after another was lynched by a mob acting on similar rumours in nearby Habibpur.
Sources said the mob’s suspicions were piqued by the fact that the victim — reportedly in his mid-20s — was roaming around Aurobindo Park wearing a saree. He was rushed to Malda Medical College and Hospital after the incident, which occurred around 9am on Friday.
“Doctors said the man cannot be questioned in his present condition. We need to find out who he is, and where he came from,” a police officer said.
Dulal Nandan Chaki, councillor of ward 25 of English Bazar municipality, said he doesn’t believe the man is a child lifter as alleged by locals. “The man was roaming in the Aurobindo Park area wearing a saree when he saw a boy standing near a temple. He was trying to hand something over to the child when the mob swept on him,” he said.
Chaki said he was the one who rescued the man from the mob and alerted English Bazar police.
Nihar Ranjan Ghosh, local MLA and chairman of English Bazar municipality, said he doesn’t recall any such incident occurring in the locality before. “We have to take stern action against those spreading rumours of child lifting,” he added.
A senior officer from English Bazar police station said the man was only trying to give a fruit to the child. Malda police superintendent Arnab Ghosh wasn’t available for comment.
English Bazar is located about 25 km from Habibpur, where an unidentified person was lynched on Wednesday. Police arrested three youths and registered an FIR against around 150 “unknown” persons in that incident.
Although rumours of child lifting have been circulating in various parts of Malda district, no such case has been reported from the area in recent times.
First Published: Jun 15, 2018 17:00 IST