A Muslim youth who was beaten up by a “few of his acquaintances” in Malda district on Friday, died of his injuries later. The incident was reported on Sunday. Sanaullah Sheikh, in his early twenties, was called to the Baishnabnagar market, about a kilometre from his village Chak Meherdi.
“He was asked to start a bike so that he could be framed as the one stealing it,” an official told The Hindu. “He was then thrashed by five or six persons, who could be identified from a video,” the official said.
Mr. Sheikh used to live with his three children, wife and mother in Chak Meherdi and was “largely unemployed.”
Locals alleged that Bappa Ghosh, associated with the Communist Party of India-Marxist [CPI-M] earlier and now attached to the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP], led the mob.
Swadhin Sarkar, Chief Whip of the BJP and Baishnabnagar MLA said that Mr. Ghosh “is associated with the Trinamool Congress.”
“In the last election, [Bappa] Ghosh worked with the Trinamool,” he said. Mr. Sarkar claimed that the deceased was suspected of stealing a motorcycle and caught by the locals in the market area.
“The beating started and very unfortunately the person died. No Hindu-Muslim colour should be given to it and the culprits should be punished,” he said.
Congress MLA from the adjoining Assembly segment Isha Khan Chowdhury and Trinamool’s district president Moazzem Hossain visited the area.
Local Trinamool functionary Paritosh Sarkar said the “culprits are not associated with our party.”
“It is not a Trinamool-BJP thing but a law and order issue. One person has been arrested on the basis of the video. The rest will also be identified and arrested,” Mr. Paritosh said.