A youth was lynched and another critically injured by a mob on the suspicion of stealing a goat at Malbazar in north Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district on Sunday, police said.
Police said the victims identified as Ajay Roy (28) was a driver of a mini-truck and Gopal Singh (27) was his helper.
Preliminary investigation revealed that for the past few days the residents of Dimdima Tea Estate had been complaining about repeated incidents in which goats were being stolen from near BD Line and NG Line of the garden.
On Sunday afternoon they found four youth with a mini-truck near the tea garden and a goat was moving around that place. According to information, a goat had also gone missing on Sunday morning.
The residents of the area thought that the youth were standing to take away the goats in their mini-truck.
When asked, the youth told the local people that they were waiting for one of their friends to come. But the residents were not convinced by their words and started questioning them further.
The local residents started beating them up when they fumbled in giving reply to their questions.
Finding that the situation was taking an ugly turn, the two other youth had fled and it had turned the local people’s suspicion to a belief.
They continued beating him up till them fell unconscious. They also set the mini-truck on fire. Tension gripped the area after the incident.
Policemen from the local police station rushed to the spot and dispersed the mob. Sources said that the local people didn’t allow the police to take the youth to hospital for around half-an-hour and demanded assurance from the police of proper steps so that no more goats get stolen from the area.
Senior police officers intervened and dispersed the mob. The youth were taken to the hospital where Roy was declared brought dead while Singh was admitted with severe injuries. Singh later succumbed to his injuries in North Bengal Medical College and Hospital.
Roy was a resident of Daily Marker area in Malbazar and Sing used to reside at New Mal area.
Police had later contacted the owner of the mini-truck, who is also a resident of Malbazar.
He told the police that Roy went out with the vehicle to refill the fuel tank as he was about to go to Siliguri. The owner had tried to contact him over his cell phone as it was getting late. But his phone went on ringing and no one had picked it up.
Police initiated a probe but yet to arrest anyone in this connection.
It may be recalled that few days ago a 23-year-old ITI student Kaushik Purakayat was lynched on mere suspicion of stealing a buffalo at Diamond Harbour in South 24-Parganas. The prime has been arrested and Criminal Investigation Department is probing into the incident.
The family members of Roy and Singh also demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.