Patna, Sept. 1: Munna Kumar, a resident of Musahari in Muzaffarpur, was mercilessly beaten up by an irate mob for allegedly trying to escape with a bicycle on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old alleged the thief was nearly lynched by the mob but was saved due to timely intervention of police personnel, who reached the spot in the course of routine patrol.
Kumar was admitted to a local hospital but was later let off as no complainant turned up at the police station to lodge a complaint against him. Bruised and battered, Kumar thought it was better to slip away from the hospital and undergo treatment elsewhere. Though he pleaded innocence, nobody paid heed and was given a good thrashing in full public view.
“We had no option than to allow him to go scot free,” said a police personnel deputed at Mithanpura police station. When asked about any complaint lodged against the assaulters, the cop said: “When complaint has not been lodged against the alleged thief, the question of instituting any case against them doesn’t arise.”
Kumar’s is not an isolated incident of people taking law in their hands. On Wednesday, an alleged robber was beaten to death by a group of residents at Partapur under Kalyanpur police station in Samastipur district. The alleged robber had gone to collect extortion money from the owner of an automobile showroom.
The deceased has been identified as Sonu Singh, a resident of Darbhanga district. Though his associate managed to give the slip to the police, Sonu was caught by the people and assaulted in the presence of the cops, resulting in instant death. The police recovered a 9mm pistol and detained a suspect for questioning.
Samastipur superintendent of police Varun Kumar Sinha said the deceased was a criminal of Darbhanga region and had demanded extortion from the owner of Krishna Motor Agency. “Efforts are on to ascertain the identity of the man, who managed to escape,” he said, adding that some persons have been detained for providing shelter to the criminals.
About two months ago, a youth was lynched by an irate mob in an area falling under Karja police station in Muzaffarpur district. The deceased was caught by the mob when he was fleeing after snatching a motorcycle from a local resident. Similar reports were also received from Vaishali, Madhubani, Sheikhpura and East Champaran districts.
A fortnight ago, a minor boy was brutally assaulted at Hajipur after being caught while stealing from a shop. His hands were tied with rope and he was mercilessly beaten up with sticks and slippers. Shockingly, the police turned a deaf ear when a local shopkeeper informed the police. A few years ago, 10 members of Nut (a tribal community) were lynched by a mob at Rajapakar in Vaishali district on the charge of committing a series of house robberies in the area.
The incidents of mob violence are on the rise in the state. The people often catch hold of the anti-socials, thrash them in full public view and often beat them to death. Of course there have been instances when many people were saved due to timely intervention of the police.
Newly appointed director-general of police Abhayanand said: “The people should maintain restrain in such cases. They should not take law in their hands. The same is applicable for the police, who have been assigned to maintain law and order in the society.”
Abhayanand, who assumed charge on Wednesday, appeared a little perturbed over such incidents. “People should have faith in the law enforcing agency. The court will punish the offenders. Neither the police nor the public have been empowered to punish any one,” he said, adding that the police would try their level best to get them punished for the crime they have committed.