Krishnagar, Aug. 30: A 13-year-old Nadia boy was accused of theft by a shopowner and his two brothers, allegedly tied to a lamppost, beaten up, his hair plucked out using pliers and head smeared with tar yesterday.
The boy, a resident of Char Majhdia village in Nabadwip, fell ill and was taken to the local primary health centre. He was shifted to the Shaktinagar district hospital in Krishnagar this morning.
“We will have to carry out a CT-scan of the head to find out whether there have been any damage to the optic nerves because of the forcible removal of hair,” a doctor said.
The Class VI student’s father, an electrician, lodged a police complaint this morning against Shyamal Burman and his brothers Kamal and Bimal. The trio, who run an electrical goods shop, are absconding.
An eyewitness said: “The Burman brothers accused the boy of stealing Rs 1,000 from their shop. They assaulted him brutally. We tried to stop them but they asked us not to interfere. We dared not because the brothers are Trinamul Congress supporters.”
A police officer said the boy was playing in front of the shop with friends last afternoon.
“We spoke to residents and came to know that Shyamal saw the boy enter the shop. After some time, he found Rs 1,000 missing from the shop and suspected that the boy had stolen it. Then he and his brothers assaulted the boy,” the officer said.
Recounting his travails, the boy said: “The brothers accused me of theft and searched me. They beat me up. I pleaded with them to leave me, telling them that I had not stolen the money. But they refused to listen. They kicked and punched me and pulled out my hair to force me to confess that I had stolen the money.”
His father, who took him to hospital said: “ If my son really stole the money, they could have handed him over to the police. Why did they torture him?”
District police chief S.R. Mishra said: “We have started a probe and expect to arrest the accused soon.”