In an appalling incident, 22-year-old Kaushik Purkait, a second-year college student, was allegedly beaten to death in Diamond Harbour, West Bengal by a mob led by Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader who mistook him as a buffalo thief on Monday. Kaushik’s mother, Chandra, who went to rescue her son was also beaten. She was asked to pay Rs 1,60,000 for the missing buffalo. The mob continued to beat Kaushik with rods and bamboo clubs in front of his mother until Chandra gave them Rs. 60,000. Then the beating was stopped and Kaushik was left in a stream of blood. Immediately he was rushed to the local hospital, later shifted to SSKM hospital in Kolkata, where he was declared dead.
Politician led the mob
TMC leader Tapas Mullick has been accused of leading the mob, comprising members of the same party, for lynching Kaushik. Kaushik, a resident of Mandirbazar in South-24 Parganas district, was visiting his aunt’s home in Diamond Harbour with his mother and sister to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya. When he had gone out for a walk close to the house, a group of local youth surrounded him and accused him of stealing a buffalo. Kaushik told them about his identity and eventually began an argument following which, the youths began to hit him.
An FIR was launched at Diamond Harbour Police Station by Kaushik’s mother against 10 people, including Harindanga gram panchayat leader Tapas. The police have so far arrested four youths named in the FIR and a woman. However, prime accused Tapas is absconding. The missing buffalo that actually escaped freeing the ropes was found later that night by the villagers. But it was too late as Kaushik already had succumbed to his injuries.
Rule of law found wanting
West Bengal has been reeling under reports of fragmented violence for almost a month over election disputes. Most of the accused perpetrators have been from the ruling TMC. Yet another incident like this reveals the misuse of power the local leaders are enjoying.
The Logical Indian condemns this utterly barbaric incident of mob cruelty. We urge the state government to take stern measures against the main accused in the incident.