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CIMA Gallary

Senior cop transferred after lynching

The deputy commissioner of the south-east division was transferred on Wednesday, hours after a mob lynched a woman accusing her of being a child-lifter and set ablaze three police jeeps in Tiljala.

At least four policemen were assaulted and several of them were robbed of their mobile phones during the violence that spread from Topsia 1st Lane to the main road from 10.30pm to 1.30am on Tuesday.

Deputy commissioner Champak Bhattacharya has been transferred to the second battalion. Deputy commissioner (enforcement branch) Debabrata Das succeeds Bhattacharya. Deputy commissioner (second battalion) Rabindranath Sarkar will replace Das.

Tuesday’s lynching was the fourth incident of its kind in the area in the past few days. On December 27, a mob had lynched a woman on suspicion that she was a child trafficker. Two other women — one of them with her child in her arms — were lynched on the same suspicion.

“Rumours about child-lifters are being spread across the area. We have not been able to identify who are behind these rumours,” said a senior officer at Lalbazar.

Sources said fire minister Javed Khan rushed to the spot on hearing that a woman was being attacked on Tuesday night but failed to pacify the mob.

A large mob started assaulting the 32-year-old woman, yet to be identified, in Topsia 1st Lane around 10.30pm. When a police team led by the deputy commissioner (south-east division) reached the spot, the woman was unconscious. She was taken to Calcutta National Medical College Hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival.

Among other senior officers in the police team that reached the spot were the assistant commissioner in the south-east division and officer-in-charge of Tiljala police station. Personnel of the radio flying squad and heavy radio flying squad were also in the team.

The mob switched off the street lights and pelted the cops with empty bottles and stones.

The situation came under control around 1.30am following the arrival of additional police teams, including Rapid Action Force personnel.

Among the injured were the officer-in-charge of Tiljala police station. One person has been arrested.