Mob thrashes man in Bihar while policemen watch


Patna : A murder suspect was brutally thrashed by a mob and left almost dead in Bihar’s Hajipur district Saturday while policemen watched.

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Ravi Kumar, a student in his 20s, had allegedly killed his friend Om Prakash in a quarrel over a cell phone in Hajipur’s Pokhra neighbourhood, just 30 km from the state capital here.

The mob snatched him from police custody Saturday morning and beat him with bamboo sticks and bricks and kicked him repeatedly. Ravi fell to the ground but they did not stop. They went on beating him and then some people smashed his head with bricks, an eyewitness said.

Ravi was taken to a local hospital in Hajipur and later shifted to the Patna Medical College.

“He is battling for his life in the hospital,” a senior police official told IANS.

State police chief A.R. Sinha said a police official had been suspended and action would be taken against other policemen present at the time of incident. All the policemen reportedly stood by as mute spectators instead of rescuing the youth.

According to sources in Hajipur district administration, after news spread that Ravi had killed Om Prakash, the dead youth’s relatives and friends gathered outside the police station to which Ravi had been taken and snatched him from the police and beat him.

The incident follows a similar case Tuesday when a mob lynched an alleged rapist in a village in Saran district.

Karia Sah, in his 20s, was lynched by a mob after the alleged rape victim told villagers that she had been gang raped by three people, including Sah, at knifepoint. The mob also assaulted two other men, Munna Mahto and Karia Raqi, after the rape victim identified them.

Last week, three men suspected of theft were lynched in Vaishali and Araria districts.

In rural Bihar, `street justice’ is common. Last year, over three dozen incidents of lynching were reported and many more may have gone unreported.

The worst lynching case was reported in September last year when 10 men from the underprivileged Kueri community in Vaishali district were beaten to death over an alleged theft. Later, a high-level probe found that the men were not thieves as the villagers had suspected.

In August last year, a youth was thrashed by a mob and brutally tortured by the police for allegedly snatching a woman’s gold chain in Bhagalpur.