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‘Mentally ill’ tribal woman assaulted by mob in West Bengal on child-lifting suspicion

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New Delhi | Published: July 18, 2018 12:12:22 PM

A mentally ill woman was physically assaulted by a group of men in West Bengal on the suspicion of her being a child-lifter. The incident was reported from Jalpaiguri's Barogharia gram panchayat area on Tuesday.

Police deployment for maintenance of law and order (Representational Image: File photo)

In yet another incident of mob violence on a day the Supreme Court came down hard on the govenrment abnd asked it to formulate a separate law on lynching, a mentally ill woman was physically assaulted by a group of men in West Bengal on the suspicion of her being a child-lifter. The incident was reported from Jalpaiguri’s Barogharia gram panchayat area on Tuesday. According to police, the woman was assaulted on suspicion of being a child-lifter. Jalpaiguri district police have registered a suo moto case under IPC section 307 (attempt to murder). However, no one has been arrested so far in the incident.

According to reports, the mentally tribal woman, who is in her mid-40s is a resident of Hooghly. She had come to Jalpaiguri’s Dhupguri area by train and reached Barogharia gram panchayat on foot. The woman is also facing trouble in her marriage due to her condition. Police rushed to the site and rescued the woman after receiving a tip-off by local people.

A local police officer told The Indian Express that the woman had received stitches on her head. “She is mentally ill. So far, she has revealed that her husband had shaved her hair. She was not properly dressed. While she was roaming the streets, someone suddenly called her a child-lifter and soon, a mob of about 30 people surrounded her and she was brutally beaten up.

The officer further said, “It is so unfortunate that people nowadays target the weak to vent their frustration. The woman received stitches on her head. She could only tell us her address, we have informed the local police there. We will also record her statement before a magistrate.”

The woman is currently in police custody. “We are investigating the incident and have taken the woman into our custody,” said Amitava Maity, Superintendent of Police, Jalpaiguri.

The additional number of forces have been deployed in the area for the maintenance of law and order. Police are trying to trace the accused involved in the case.

A similar incident took place in August last year in Dhupguri where villagers lynched two persons on suspicion of being cattle thieves. More than 150 programmes were organised since last year to make people aware against mob lynching.

“In the last one year, more than 150 programmes have been organised to make people aware against mob lynching. However, people still believe rumours,” a police officer told IE.

On Tuesday,  the Supreme court has asked the Parliament to frame a new law to control the menace of cow vigilantism and mob violence. The top court underlined that violence can’t be allowed in the name of cow vigilantism. On July 3, the bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra had also termed cow vigilantism as ‘unacceptable’ and stated that mob lynching is ‘beyond law and order problem’.

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