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Malda: A youth, in his late 20’s, has been lynched by villagers at Habibpur in Malda on the suspicion that he is a child lifter.

This comes close on the heels of a young singer and his businessman friend being lynched at Karbi Anglong in Assam over the same suspicion.

The lynching in Malda today took place at Bulbulchandi Dobapara village under Habibpur police station area. The youth, whose identity and antecedents are yet to be ascertained, was first stripped by the villagers and then tied to an electric pole.

After this, a free-for-all assault started even as the youth kept on pleading that he was not a child-lifter and begged for mercy. After over an hour of the mob assault right at a busy public place, a team from Habibpur police station went there. The mob kept on assaulting the youth even if front of the police.

Cops took him first to the RN Roy Rural Hospital at Bulbulchandi. Doctors referred him at once to the Malda Medical College and Hospital as his condition was critical. He succumbed to the injuries there soon after admission.

The lynching is believed to be fed by a WhatsApp message that is circulating at Habibpur for the past few weeks. The message alerted people against two so-called unnamed child lifters. In fact, in the last few days, as many as five people have been assaulted in and around Habibpur by labeling them as child lifters.

Waking up to the situation at last after the lynching today, Habibpur block development officer held a meeting with local clubs and political leaders and urged them to be vigilant of rumours being spread over WhatsApp and other social media.

Police are yet to make an arrest in connection with the lynching of the youth at Bulbulchandi Dobapara today.