On Saturday, 10th April, Ashwini Kumar, a police officer from Bihar, who was conducting a raid in neighbouring West Bengal, was lynched to death by a frenzied mob. It is now being reported that the main accused in the case, Mohammed Israel, had used the public address system of a neighbourhood mosque to instigate people into attacking the police officer.
Ashwini Kumar, station in charge of the Kishanganj police station, had gone to carry out a raid in connection with a bike theft case in a neighbouring village of Pantapura that falls under West Bengal. A mob led by Mohammad Israel and his son Mohammad Abdul lynched the police officer to death. The incident took place at 3:30 am on Saturday morning.
According to the reports, as the team led by Ashwini Kumar entered the village, Mohammad Israel used the loudspeaker of a mosque in the neighbourhood to mobilise people against the police. He urged people to stop police from advancing. In the ensuing scuffle, the frenzied mob surrounded Ashwini Kumar and brutally thrashed him.
Kumar was rescued by a team of police officers from the Panjipura outpost and rushed to the Islampur Sadar Hospital, but by then, it was already too late. The doctors at the hospital declared him brought dead.
Later, the West Bengal police apprehended three accused in connection with the case. Firoze Alam, Abuzar Alam and Sahinur Khan were arrested for lynching the Bihar cop, while Mohammad Israel and his son Mohammad Abdul were on the run. Israel and Abdul were arrested on Sunday. The father-son duo had been involved in running a gang of vehicle lifters.
Two more people have been arrested in the case when they were trying to escape with a looted bike on Saturday after the incident. Incidentally, it was the same stolen bike from Kishanganj for which Ashwini and his team had carried out the raid. Kishanganj SP Kumar Ashish said that a total of 21 named and 500 unnamed people have been made accused in the lynching case.
VHP calls the region where SHO Ashwini Kumar was lynched a den of ‘jihadis’
Meanwhile, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad had called the area a den of ‘jihadis’ and where attacks against police officials are par for course. It also added that the region is notorious for Bangladeshi infiltrators, liquor and smuggling, and has seen attacks on security forces many times before.
Expressing alarm over the mob lynching of Kishanganj SHO Ashwini Kumar, VHP demanded strict action against the culprits. VHP general secretary Milind Parande alleged that due to the apathy of the police administration and political patronage, the area has become a hotbed for criminals. “The area, by becoming the sleeper cell of Jihadi terrorists, also poses threat to India’s internal security,” Parande added.
SHO Ashwini Kumar’s mother dies of shock hours after her son’s lynching
Hours after the lynching of Kishanganj SHO Ashwini Kumar in the neighbouring West Bengal village, his septuagenarian mother Urmila Devi died of shock. The cremation of both mother and son was held together on Sunday even as all the members of police team that accompanied the officer during the raid to the Bengal village were placed under suspension for failing to protect him.
Kumar’s mother died of a heart attack around 5:30 am on Sunday. She was suffering from several age-related ailments. Initially, she was not told about the incident, but her condition started deteriorating after her son’s body reached home on Saturday.