Pandua (Hooghly), Jan. 31: Barely a day after a local youth was lynched being mistaken for a thief, a nine-year-old girl was found dead in a paddy field 100 meters from the police station here.
Noori Khatun, a Class III student at Namaazgram Basic Primary School, had been missing since yesterday. A villager spotted her today, lying dead. A cloth cap that she was wearing was torn to shreds. There was a five-rupee coin a few feet away.
“It seems she was strangled. There is a mark on the neck. We have no clue yet as to why she was murdered,’ said district police chief Ajay Kumar.
Shiekh Hassan, a 22-year-old-youth who owned a stationery shop and was part of a musical troupe, was lynched by his neighbours around the same place in Kolirpukur village.
Kalu Khan, who had hit Hassan with iron rods in the company of his son, surrendered to the police when he realised that the man who he thought was a burglar was his neighbour. Angry villagers burnt down Khan’s house.
Tension flared up again today with the discovery of Noori’s body. “She left for a fair with the neighbours but did not return. I searched for her everywhere,” said her father, Abdul Rehman.
“They had torn off her gold nose stud and silver earrings. But they wouldn’t have killed her for just that,” said Rehman who works as a masseur in hotels in Calcutta.