Two people have been arrested for allegedly lynching a 20-year-old man in West Bengal’s Malda district last week, PTI reported on Monday.
Malda Superintendent of Police Aloke Rajoria said Shanaul Sheikh was assaulted by a few local people at Baishnabnagar Bazar on Wednesday after he was allegedly caught stealing a bike. Sheikh died on Saturday, triggering protests in Kaliachak and Baishnabhnagar areas the following day when his body arrived from SSKM hospital in Kolkata.
The attackers were reportedly identified from a video of the attack shared widely on social media. Rajoria said a case was registered after Sheikh’s mother lodged a complaint.
Chandana Sarkar, a senior functionary of Malda district council, said the incident should not be given a communal angle. “The person was a history-sheeter and had earlier been arrested on charges of theft,” Sarkar said. “His wife met me today and we are trying to help the family on humanitarian grounds.”
The state unit of the Congress demanded compensation and a government job for a member of Sheikh’s family, The Indian Express reported.
“Is this the beginning of mob lynching in West Bengal?” asked state Congress President Somen Mitra. “The state government is responsible for this incident. We are ashamed that a youth from Bengal was killed like this. We want the state government to provide Rs 10 lakh to his family and a government job to one of his family members. We also want the administration to take strong action against the killers.” Mitra also appealed to people to not consider it a communal incident.
Protestors had blocked the NH34 on Sunday and marched towards Baishnabnagar police station. The police had sought the help of Sujapur Congress MLA Suja Khan Choudhury, and other party leaders to pacify the mob. “We managed to convince the mob not to proceed further and take the body back home for religious rites and burial,” Choudhury said.