Patna: Amid fear of growing lawlessness in Bihar, in yet another case of street justice or mob rule, a mentally-challenged youth suspected of being a thief was lynched by a mob in a village in Gaya district, the police said on Thursday. This is third case of lynching in the state in the past two weeks.
Dipak Paswan, 20, a dalit, was allegedly caught by an angry mob on suspicion of being a thief at Kesapi village under Dobhi police station in Gaya and was beaten till he fell unconscious and died on the way to hospital early Wednesday morning.
The victim’s close relative, Shankar Paswan, said he was mentally challenged and was living in Lemboogarha village for some time. “The victim was mentally challenged and was moving from one place to another but a group of villagers beat him to death in suspicion of him being a thief. I have lodged a case against eight persons who have been named as accused for his murder in the local police station”, he said.
As per local police officials, some villagers informed them that the victim, along with three others, was taking rest in an agriculture field on the way to his grandparents village early on Wednesday when a group of people from a nearby village suddenly sounded an alarm and started chasing them. All of them tried to flee sensing mood of the mob but Paswan was caught and beaten with bamboo sticks till he fell unconscious and was bleeding due to serious head injuries. After that some local villagers informed the police. When the police reached the spot, Paswan was about to die due to internal injuries that he sustained during the brutal thrashing.
The police took him to Magadh Medical College and Hospital in Gaya for treatment where he was declared dead by doctors.
Rahul Ranjan, Officer-in-Charge of Dobhi police station, said the incident was a matter of serious concern. A case has been lodged and investigation has begun. So far, three accused have been arrested. “The police will take action against the named accused if allegations are found true during investigation”, he said.
According to villagers, in view of rising crimes, including theft incidents in Dobhi areas, people in many villages have started night patrolling or night surveillance.
“As the police have failed to check and control cases of crimes, including theft, we have formed a village-level team to keep vigil at night. We have lost faith in police to act. If we spot a stranger or someone at night in a nearby village, we ask about his whereabouts and let him go. But when we suspect something, we chase the person and catch him for instant punishment” Mahesh Kumar, a village youth said.
Last month a suspected cattle thief was lynched by a mob in Purnea district. In December third week of 2020, a suspected cattle thief Alamgir Alam, 28, was allegedly caught by an angry mob on FCI Road under Phulwari Sharif, located on the outskirts of Patna, and was beaten so much that he fell unconscious and died on the way to hospital.
Similarly, in the last week of December in Sitamarhi district, two youths were lynched by a mob who suspected them of being criminals demanding extortion from a villager.
These incidents have come as an embarrassment for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who claims to have brought ‘sushasan’ or good governance to Bihar.
In the last one year, several cases of lynching were reported across the state. In rural Bihar, 'mob justice' is quite common.
Meanwhile, fear of lawlessness, locally known as ‘jungle raj’, is haunting the common people in Bihar again, as the state reels under growing crime rate. Nearly one dozen killings were reported in the past 24 hours in Bihar, according to the police.
A ruling Janata Dal-United leader was shot dead inside his house by armed criminals in Bhojpur district on Thursday. In another case, a retired school teacher was killed in Darbhanga distrct and the father of an elected Sarpanch was killed in Lakhisarai district.