Two dacoits, Amjad Hossain and Shamim Haque, were nabbed and beaten up by locals of a village in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district while they tried to escape the scene of the crime on Sunday, September 12. The dacoits were then handed over to the local police.
The incident was reported from the Buri Bamnirhat area of Cooch Behar’s Bakshirhat town. At around 3 AM, a group of around 8 – 10 armed dacoits raided the house of a local businessman. They carried not only machetes and other sharp weapons but also had bombs in their possession. The gang assaulted the family members of the businessman and looted jewelry and cash. One family member was also hit with a sharp weapon on his leg when he tried to stop the dacoits.
Hearing the commotion, people of the neighbourhood rushed to rescue the businessman’s family. Seeing the villagers approaching the house, the dacoits threw some country-made bombs and fled the area. But the locals didn’t give up and continued to chase the robbers. One of the robbers, Amjad Hossain was nabbed by the villagers from a paddy field nearby. They hunted down the second robber, Shamim was hiding in a bamboo jungle.
Both the robbers were thrashed by the angry villagers. Subsequently, the local police arrived at the spot and detained both the accused. The other gang members were still on the loose as per reports at the time.
Selective media coverage
There has been very little reporting around this incident in Bengali media, and national media has ignored it completely. Actually, such incidents of mob violence against thieves is quite common across the country. Ordinary people believe such beatings act as some deterrent to thieves, who otherwise don’t fear our law enforcement.
But one incident of a thief being beaten after being caught red-handed by villagers did become a cause célèbre for national media. That was the beating of professional thief Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand, who later died in police lock-up due to a cardiac arrest. Even international media used the incident to malign Bharat and Hindus.
The reasons for the Tabrez Ansari story being selectively picked up and highlighted? 1. It happened in a BJP-ruled state 2. The thief was Muslim and the villagers who beat him Hindu; the fact that these Hindus were poor, underprivileged people from OBC/SC communities themselves, was buried. The fact that Ansari was a professional thief from whose house police recovered stolen goods was quickly buried too.
We have covered the double standards in media coverage and liberal civil society response towards lynching in past articles too.
At a time when urban societies are suffering due to loss of community and apathy towards each other (remember media articles about “xyz was attacked, but no one came to help”), the villagers who nabbed both the dacoits should be commended for showing the courage to unite and help a neighbour.
Another aspect that media ignores, because of their allegiance towards a ‘secular’ leader like Mamata who is WB CM, is that such robberies and other severe crimes occur frequently in West Bengal. Last month, Nazrul Islam was caught and thrashed by locals in Malda after he raped a local labourer’s minor daughter, and then shoved 350 rupees into her fist to keep her quiet.
Earlier this month we reported on the case of dual murders of Hindu women by a Muslim man, Md. Akhtar Hussain from Siliguri. While the cases of grooming Jihad have seen an upsurge during TMC’s reign, instances of robbery and murders by Muslim criminals are spiking as well.
(Representational Image Credit: The Times of India)