PATNA: A man accused of trying to snatch cash from a railway employee outside a bank was brutally beaten to death by a mob in Bihar’s Sasaram in the fourth incident of lynching in the state in the past five days.
As the Opposition parties targeted the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government over the death of six people in the four lynching incidents, the ruling JD(U) accused the main Opposition party RJD of having a hand in these incidents with the aim of maligning the chief minister’s image.
Police said Pankaj Kumar was beaten to death by a mob outside a State Bank of India branch in Sasaram when he and two of his accomplices allegedly tried to snatch a bag containing Rs 30 lakh from a railway supervisor. The trio failed in the loot bid as the people present there intervened and chased them.
A woman was badly injured when one of the three accused fired from a gun while trying to escape. The crowd managed to catch hold of Pankaj Kumar and beat him black and blue with belts and sticks. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but doctors declared him brought dead.
Nobody was arrested for the incident. Rohtas Additional SP Rajesh Kumar said police were trying to get CCTV footage of the incident to identify the people who beat Pankaj Kumar to death.
A 24-year-old man, Rupesh Jha, was beaten to death by a mob at Ramnagra in Sitamarhi district on Sunday after the driver of a pick-up van alleged that Jha had stolen money from him. A profusely beaten Jha was rushed to Patna Medical College and Hospital, where he died. Police later registered an FIR against one named accused, who is absconding, and 150 unknown people.
A woman, Mala Devi, was beaten to death near her house at Ambedkar Chowk in Sasaram on Saturday by fellow villagers allegedly because they suspected her of practising witchcraft. Three of the four accused were arrested, said police.
In Begusarai, three men who allegedly tried to abduct a five-year-old girl from her school were beaten to death with bamboo poles by local villagers on Friday. The three victims – Mukesh Mahto, Hira Singh and Shyam Singh – were known in the area for their involvement in criminal activities. No arrest has been made in the case so far.
“These incidents of lynching show there is no law and order in Bihar. While criminals have no fear of the law, ordinary people are taking the law into their own hands as they have no faith in police,” said senior RJD leader Bhai Birendra, seeking CM Nitish Kumar’s resignation for “failing to check lawlessness”.
JD(U) spokesperson Sanjay Singh said: “An analysis of several recent incidents involving mobs has made it clear that RJD has had a hand in all these incidents. They are doing this to malign CM Nitish Kumar’s image and to paint Bihar in a poor light. But their evil design will not succeed”.