WB: Four Women Thrashed By Mob While Two Stripped Naked Over Suspicion Of Being Child-Lifters
To add to the series of assaults and mob lynching in India, four women aged between 20 and 50 in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal were allegedly beaten up while two were forced to strip by a mob on July 23. This is the fourth incident in Jalpaiguri district where people have been assaulted over suspicions of being child-kidnappers.
The incident took place in Daukimari village, which is about 43 kilometres from the district headquarters in Jalpaiguri. Even though local police rescued the four women, who sustained multiple injuries, no arrests have been made yet. The women have been admitted to the Dhupguri block hospital.
The incident of mob lynching in Jalpaiguri
Reportedly, only two out of the four women knew each other and that they weren’t residents of the area. While one of the four women was from Siliguri town, the rest were from the nearby area of Dhupguri. The women had gone to Daukimari village market, which is about five kilometres from Dhupguri town. While two women had gone to a microfinance office, one other was visiting a relative, and another was out to sell clothes.
According to Outlook, the superintendent of police, Amitabha Maity, believes that after the mob failed to believe the answer to questions that were asked to the women, panic spread rapidly among villagers as the women were labelled to be child-lifters.
No sooner did the rumour spread than an irate mob gathered and began thrashing the four women. Even as the women tried to convince the crowd that they were from nearby localities, the mob did not pay any heed. Talking to The Telegraph, one of the victims from Dhupguri said, “We tried our best to convince the villagers that we were there for work and are residents of Dhupguri town. However, they didn’t pay heed.”
Forced to strip
The two women were then taken to a nearby school where they were forced to strip naked as the mob accused them of concealing tranquilisers. Even as they failed to find any trace of tranquilisers, the mob kept on assaulting them.
It was around the same time that the villagers got a hold of two other women– one from Siliguri and the other from Dhupguri and started thrashing them as well. They were then taken to the school where the other two women were kept. It was then that the local police rushed to the spot and rescued the four women from the school.
Speaking to the Times of India, Dhupguri BDO Dipankar Roy said, “We have received the complaint and have asked the police to identify the persons involved in instigating the mob and ensure maximum punishment for them.”
Earlier incidents of mob violence in Jalpaiguri
However, this isn’t the first incident in this northern district of West Bengal. Exactly a week before this incident, a mentally challenged woman was beaten up by a mob in the same block of the district upon suspicions of child-lifting. The police had also booked BJP district Vice-President Taramoni Roy for instigating the mob violence.
Earlier, several people were injured in stone pelting in Kranti area of Mal block in Jalpaiguri district after rumours of child-lifters in the area surfaced. Soon after that, another man was assaulted in the district upon similar suspicions.
The Logical Indian Take
Incidents of mob lynching have become endemic where people, with the slightest suspicion, turn violent and take the law into their own hands. Such incidents occur even after the Supreme Court had issued strict guidelines to curb this menace at the bud. Even after the apex court has asked the Parliament to form special legislation to establish guidelines, repeated cases of lynching, sparked by rumours, only point towards the fact that the law and order situation is failing with every passing day.
The onus lies not only upon the Centre and its ministries but also upon the state governments to develop ways to protect innocent people from such gruesome incidents.