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West Bengal witnesses spurt in mob-lynching incidents

– Spl. Correspondence

New Delhi, Jan. 1: In West Bengal, four incidences of mob lynchings of Muslims took place in a month span. The fourth one reported in December last was a Muslim man lynched by Hindutva vigilante groups on the pretext of stealing.

According to Sabrang India, three other Muslim males were killed by mob lynchings in separate incidents. All of them happened in less than 72 hours. The incidents took place in the villages of Turuk Meena, Haribhaktapur, and South 24 Parganas. They followed similar patterns: at first, they were attacked fatally when the mobs accused them of stealing.

The first incident happened late on December 22, in Navgram village of South Mainna, when two men were fatally beaten. Familiar allegations of cow theft, in which a Hindutva gang turned out and beat two Muslim men to death late on Friday night, are said to have stoked the mob violence. But even after being sent to the Vardhman Medical College Hospital right after, the two died from their wounds the next morning. DSP Aman Deep has disclosed that the police are currently pursuing the attackers who are believed to have entered the village using a cargo vehicle.

Similarly, on December 23, a 45-year-old man in Haribhaktapur was lynched after it was said he had stolen a goat. The 45-year-old Muslim guy, Ruhul Amin Sheikh, was apprehended, beaten severely, and chained to a tree. He sadly passed away from his wounds at Murshidabad Medical College Hospital. According to reports, three males were apparently trying to steal goats when the incident happened. These sources claim that Sheikh was apprehended by the mob and then beaten, even though two suspects were able to escape. Sheikh was taken to the hospital after the police managed to save him in the end.

But no formal complaint had been filed at the time of reporting. Similarly, The Observer Post has reported that this was the third incident of mob lynching of a Muslim man to happen in the past 72 hours. SDP S.K. Samuddin said an investigation will be initiated if a complaint is registered.

The report also reveals that the village had seen incidents of theft for quite a while, but the police had not taken any cognizance, according to the villagers. Just earlier this month, on December 4, a Muslim man was beaten to death in the state under suspicions of theft, taking the number of mob lynchings of Muslims in December 2023 to four.

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