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West Bengal: Man allegedly lynched in Asansol on child-lifting suspicions

The police were attacked by locals when they reached the spot to rescue the man.

West Bengal: Man allegedly lynched in Asansol on child-lifting suspicions
A file photo of protests against mob lynching. | Amit Dave/Reuters

A man was allegedly lynched in West Bengal’s Burdwan district on Wednesday morning on the suspicion that he was a child abductor, the Hindustan Times reported. The incident took place in Salanpur area of Asansol around 6.30 am.

Deputy Commissioner (zone 1) of Asansol Durgapur Police Abhishek Gupta said they have started an investigation in the case to arrest the accused. “The man was declared dead on arrival at the hospital,” Gupta said. “We are trying to establish the identity of the victim.”

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The man died on his way to hospital from Asanol, about 225 km from Kolkata.

The police were allegedly attacked by local residents when they reached the spot to rescue the man.

This was the second incident of lynching in the state after the West Bengal Assembly passed an anti-lynching bill on August 30. Three other people have managed to escape lynching attempts since the bill has been passed.

On Tuesday night, a mentally challenged man was allegedly tied to a tree and beaten up in a village in Cooch Behar. However, the police rescued him.

On September 8, a 30-year-old electrician was beaten up by a mob on suspicion that he was a child kidnapper in Hirapur area in West Burdwan district. The police rescued the man and have arrested one accused in the case.

On September 4, mason Khabir Sheikh, 32, died after he was thrashed by unidentified people inside a clinic. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital.

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On September 3, 25-year-old Dharma Singh was beaten up by locals in Baniapara village in Jalpaiguri district on suspicion of being a child abductor. The mob had also vandalised a police vehicle when went they went to rescue the man.

The West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019, proposes a maximum punishment of life imprisonment and fines ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for offences. It defines lynching as any attempt or act of violence by a mob on the “grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnicity, or any other ground”.

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