Durgapur, Oct. 5: A mob of 50 lynched an alleged molester and almost killed two of his friends in a Bankura village today, meting out street justice while police took hours to arrive from a nearby outpost.
A police officer said based on the accounts of eyewitnesses that the trio were lifted like “an elephant picks up a man with its trunk and flung to the ground”, underscoring the brutality of the beatings that followed alleged lewd comments passed at a schoolgirl cycling by. The youths, in their twenties, are yet to be identified.
Some of the villagers who watched the incident unfold in Saltora’s Hakara village and informed the police claimed the events would not have taken such a gory turn had the cops reached the spot in time.
The injured were admitted to the Bankura Sanmilani Medical College and Hospital in an unconscious state. “They have multiple injuries on their heads, limbs and other parts of the body. Their hands and legs are also fractured,” a doctor said, referring to the injuries suffered in the thrashing with bamboo sticks and rods.
The trouble began when the Class X girl, the daughter of a small farmer, was cycling to school with some classmates around 11am and the three youths on a motorcycle blocked her way, passing lewd comments.
“When she tried to ignore them, one of them pulled her hand and she fell off her cycle. She started shouting for help. Her schoolmates also raised the alarm. Some villagers rushed to help,” the officer said.
Scared, the youths got on their bike and tried to escape but were waylaid by another group down the road. “I was buying things from a grocer and saw the mob charge at the youths screaming that they would not spare them as they had tried to molest and kidnap a girl from the village. It is an insult to the village and we will teach them a lesson, the mob shouted, as it set upon the three,” said villager Kanchan Ghosh.
Officers from Saltora police station who spoke to the locals painted a blood-curdling picture, saying that at one point of time during the thrashing, the youths were picked up high over the villagers’ heads and flung to the ground. “Just like an elephant picks up a man with its trunk, they were hoisted and flung to the ground,” the officer said.
Even as the youths were being beaten, some villagers escorted the girl home. The youths’ bike was torched.
Bankura police chief Pranab Kumar suggested the youths were not from Hakara. “We have learnt that all of them had come from Punishole in Onda area of the district. We have started a molestation case and will arrest the two injured youths (after they recover). We have also arrested a villager for beating one of the youths to death,” Kumar said.
The police team from Saltora, only 6km away, was greeted by protests when it arrived two hours later. Asked about the delay, Kumar said “it took some time as the road is very bad”. ..Source..