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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Woman killed in Bengal for protesting cow being tied to a tether on her land

A woman was murdered by her brother-in-law and his associates and her husband and son hacked with sickles in a village in Murshidabad because they told the attackers to keep a cow off their land.

kolkata Updated: Aug 30, 2017 19:20 IST
Sreyasi Pal
Sreyasi Pal
Hindustan Times
Murders over family disputes or political differences are on the rise in rural Bengal.
Murders over family disputes or political differences are on the rise in rural Bengal. (HT File Photo)

Murder of protesters is nothing new in Bengal but this one is remarkable even by the state’s notorious standards. A woman was murdered in a village in Murshidabad district on Monday because she did not want her sister and brother-in-law to tie their cow to tethers on her land.

The victim’s husband and minor son are admitted to a hospital in critical condition. Police have arrested two persons.

Renuka Bibi, 43, was hacked with a sickle allegedly by her brother-in-law and his associates, said the police.

Read: Bengal: Mob lynches mentally ill woman after branding her a child trafficker

“We have arrested Kuddus Sheikh and Manowara Bibi. Raids are on to nab the other suspects, including the key accused, Asadul,” said Rabi Malakar, officer-in-charge of Ranitala police station.

“The two families have a history of disputes. We have come to know that the latest one took place over keeping a cow tied to a tether in front of the victim’s home,” added Malakar.

A villager told HT that Nizamuddin Sheikh (55) lives on a plot of land measuring a few bighas at Najirpur-Sahapur village with wife Renuka Bibi and 15-year-old son Ripon Sheikh.

A few years ago, Renuka Bibi’s sister Silara Bibi, who was poor and had nowhere to go, started living on that land after setting up a thatched hut.

Read: Elahiganj becomes West Bengal’s first village to ban alcohol

Relation between the two families turned sour when Silara’s husband Ashadul slowly started encroaching on Nizamuddin’s land. This led to quarrels and even clashes on several occasions.

“Nizamuddin recently asked Ashadul to vacate his land and leave the village with his family. But instead of moving out Asadul and his wife started tying cattle to tethers on Nizamuddin’s land,” said Safikul Ali, a relative of Nizamuddin.

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On Monday night, when Renuka Bibi was returning home, she found a cow tied right in front of the house. She protested and the sisters got into an altercation.

Local people said Renuka threatened her sister with dire consequences if she didn’t vacate the land by Tuesday morning. When Asadul returned home, Silara narrated the incident and he attacked Renuka Bibi with a sickle. Nizamuddin and his son tried to save her but Asadul and his associates hacked them too.

Safikul Ali said, “I rushed to the spot and found Renuka and Nizamuddin lying in a pool of blood. Both were unconscious. Their son was asking someone over phone to send an ambulance.”

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 19:20 IST