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Siliguri: A mob today tied up a teenage boy to a lamppost and assaulted him left and right on charges of stealing. Police rescued the boy in a grievously injured state and he has now been hospitalised.

The incident has taken place at Denguajhar, about 15-km off Jalpaiguri town in north Bengal. The injured boy is a resident of Bhutki village under Rajganj police station area which is about 32-km away from where he was assaulted.

Trader Mintu Dey runs a grocery shop at Denguajhar. Today noon, he went to relieve himself leaving his shop open and unguarded. On his return, he reportedly saw a teenage boy fleeing from his shop and found the shop’s cashbox open.

Dey at once related that the boy has stolen money from his shop and he started chasing him. After chasing a little, the shopkeeper managed to get hold of the boy. He then dragged the boy to the marketplace and informed other traders.

Within a few minutes, a sizeable number of traders and common people gathered at the spot and started asking about the boy’s identity, address, etc. Next, they tied up the barely 15-year-old teenager to a lamppost and everyone started beating him in a free for all exercise.

With the mob in a mood to lynch the boy, Kotwali police station got a wind of this. A police team came rushing and rescued the boy from the mob in a grievously injured condition. They got him admitted to Jalpaiguri District Hospital.

Police have, for now, registered an FIR for illegal confinement and collective assault against unmanned people of Denguajhar. Sources said that in the event of a life risk to the assaulted boy, the traders of the area will land up in serious trouble.

“Ideally, the trader should have informed police once he apparently caught the boy stealing. But making the boy beaten by a mob surely is a crime and reflects criminal mentality,” a police officer said.