Tension ran high at Narayanpara village under Polba police station in Hooghly on Tuesday after a person was tied with a tree and beaten up by local people on mere suspicion of being a thief.
The officer-in-charge of the local police station who went to the spot supposedly to rescue the victim allegedly beat him up in the presence of the villagers. This has triggered controversy that how a police officer could attack a person who is suspected to be a thief in public. The local people caught one Mohasin Halder after they suspected him to be a thief. It was learnt that incidents of theft have gone up in recent time.
The local people said that few hand pumps and various utensils were stolen from the area in last few days. The villagers spotted the victim Mohasin aimlessly loitering in the area and this had prompted them to believe that the youth might have been involved in the theft. The local residents dragged the victim to a nearby area and tied him to a tree. They later started beating him up. After being informed, the officer-in-charge of the Polba police station reached the spot. Instead of rescuing the victim, the police officer also started beating up the youth. The local people also opposed the police from entering into the area and staged demonstration in front of the police personnel alleging that police did not take any step to catch the thieves. T. The victim had, however, pleaded his guilt when he was attacked by the mob. But the villagers refused to believe his theory and started heckling him.
The local people told the police that they were trying to catch the thieves who were stealing hand pumps and other items from the village and were keeping a vigil. They claimed that the victim came to the spot on Tuesday morning with an intention of stealing the pumps. The local people also said that there was another person who was accompanying the accused but he left the spot after sensing some impending danger.