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West Bengal Sees Another Lynching: Man Killed in Bhangar Over Theft Suspicion, Two Arrested

A 50-year-old man, named Azgar Molla, was beaten to death on suspicion of being a thief. The deceased was a resident of the Phulbari area under Bhangar police station in South 24 Parganas. The incident took place in the Bhangar Bazar area on Sunday morning. Police have arrested two persons in connection with the incident.

On Sunday morning, Azgar Molla was caught on suspicion of being a thief. He was then allegedly tied up. Azgar fell ill after several people beat him up and remained unconscious for a long time. Local residents became suspicious as he remained in the same condition for a long time. He was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him dead. Azgar’s family members came to the spot after receiving the news of the beating. They said they didn’t know what triggered the incident.

Sheikh Rafiqul Hasan, a local resident, said, “Theft has been going on in this area for a long time. There are night guards at night. When they leave, the theft increases. Someone was caught today. Then he was tied up. Everyone was coming and slapping him. He fainted. At first, we thought it might be intoxicating. Lying down with a play. But then it turns out he’s dead.’’

DC Bhangar Saikat Ghosh said that the police have registered a suo motu case and started investigating the incident. The body has been sent for post-mortem. Further action will be taken once the autopsy report comes. The police have obtained CCTV footage. Some people beat Azgar. Police officers have seen the CCTV footage. Two people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Ranjit Sur, APDR’s (Association for Protection of Democratic Rights) state general secretary, said, “Incidents of mob lynching have been taking place in West Bengal for quite some time. The first mob lynching incident in the state took place at Magrahat in South 24 Parganas. There has been no news of this incident. I think there is a ripe head working behind the lynching.”

He added, “There have been so many incidents of beating, yet the police are not able to know anything. As a result, the role of the police is mysterious. The police are only doing their job by spreading awareness. They don’t do the real police job. Locals claim that thefts have been taking place in Bhangar Bazar for a few days. Then why didn’t the police keep an eye on it? Other politics and conspiracies are working behind the whole incident.”

On July 2, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed the state police to increase vigilance and enforce strict measures against those implicated in recent mob lynching incidents. The government will offer financial aid of Rs 2 lakh to each victim’s family and provide employment as a home guard to their next of kin.

Mob-lynching cases have surfaced in five districts—North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Bardhaman, and Paschim Medinipur—recently.

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