A 42-year old woman in West Bengal's Murshidabad district, who was reportedly suffering from mental illness, was allegedly beaten to death by a mob on Tuesday that suspected her of being a child-lifter.
An Indian Express report stated, Otera Bibi, a resident of Mithipur-Panagarh village, left home on Monday and did not return.
"The family did not search for her because they were used to her disappearing for a night to return the next morning," a police source told IE.
According to the report, on Tuesday, Bibi allegedly entered the house of one Dilip Ghosh, who raised an alarm and alerted his neighbours that she was trying to kidnap his daughter.
According to onlookers, Bibi was soon surrounded by a huge mob that assaulted her — tying her to a vehicle, beating her with sticks, and pelting her with stones.
The police reached the spot after gaining knowledge of the incident and took the victim to the Jangipur sub-divisional hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.
Police officials said that they have collected video footage of the lynching and an investigation is on.
"We will first verify and then arrest the culprits. Raids are still on. I think there have been past few genuine cases where children have gone missing. These cases may have triggered the rumors, which led to the unfortunate incident," the report quoted Anghshuman Saha, Additional SP (Lalbagh), as saying.
Recent instances of child trafficking in Jharkhand and nearby areas have created an atmosphere of panic in the region. In May this year, two men, suspected of being child traffickers, were lynched in Jharkhand.
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