Man lynched in NRS hostel
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- Published 17.11.14
|The boys’ hostel at NRS. (Bishwarup Dutta)|
A 30-year-old man was lynched inside a hostel at NRS Medical College and Hospital with his hands tied to a pillar after being caught allegedly trying to steal a mobile phone.
The incident occurred around 6am on Sunday, shortly after an inmate of room No. 99 on the third floor of the boys’ hostel saw a man put his hand through the window and grab his mobile phone, a junior doctor said.
The inmate sprang out of bed and screamed, bringing everyone running to that section of the hostel in Sealdah.
“By then, the man had entered a toilet on the third floor and locked himself in. He broke a window pane and tried to escape but some of our boys climbed a wall and pulled him out. Then everyone started assaulting him,” the junior doctor said.
The man, who hadn’t been identified until late on Sunday, was taken to a room in another wing of the four-storey building and the assault resumed, witnesses said.
He was then tied to a pillar outside the room and beaten up again, according to a construction worker named Rabiul.
“I saw some of the inmates hit him with rods,” said Rabiul, part of a team of masons and helpers building another floor at the hostel.
A little before 9am, officers of Entally police station received a phone call saying that a thief who had been caught at the hostel was “barely conscious” after being tied to a pillar and assaulted.
A team from the police outpost on the campus took the man to the hospital’s emergency wing, where doctors declared him dead.
NRS Medical College and Hospital has set up a seven-member committee to probe the incident, principal Manju Banerjee said.
“The inquiry committee comprises myself, the medical superintendent and vice-principal, the dean and four other senior doctors. We are taking the incident very seriously and will start our probe on Monday,” Banerjee said.
Around 1,000 students stay in the boys’ hostel but just over 200 of them were around on Sunday, the rest having gone home on study leave for examinations in December.
Two employees of the canteen on the third floor, where the man was found, were detained for interrogation.
“The two of them were present at the spot where the deceased was beaten up. We have yet to ascertain whether the duo played a role in the lynching or were mere witnesses to the crime,” said an officer of the homicide wing of the detective department.
“We are interrogating them to identify those who were responsible for the lynching. They have not given us any names so far,” the officer said on Sunday evening.
Sources at Entally police station said the post-mortem showed that the man died of internal haemorrhage caused by assault. “There were severe injuries on his body, including the head, both thighs, back and chest. He also had a deep cut mark near the lips,” an officer said.
Students said theft was common at the hostel. “Mobile phones and laptops worth close to Rs 40 lakh have been stolen from the hostel in the past three years alone. There are no guards at the entrance, including at night. Anyone can enter the hostel,” a junior doctor said.
He said simmering anger among the hostel inmates over repeated instances of theft came to a boil when the man was caught allegedly stealing.
“It wasn’t anyone’s intention to kill him. When he looked to be losing consciousness, many of the boys panicked and left. Someone fetched a blade to cut the ropes but dropped it there and left on seeing his condition,” a witness said.