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Probe doubts guilt of 10 lynched for stealing
Sreeparna Chakrabarty in New Delhi | September 23, 2007 17:24 IST
Casting doubt over the guilt of 10 people lynched in Bihar for stealing, the National Commission for Denotified and Nomadic Tribes said the mob, which killed them, was not even aware of the theft.
After an inquiry into the sequence of events leading up to the beating to death of the alleged thieves in Vaishali district, the commission, in a letter to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, said: 'They were not caught red-handed, in fact the scene of theft was nearly five kilometres away from the scene of mob violence.'
When the commission visited the house where the theft had allegedly taken place, the residents said that Rs 16,000 in cash, ornaments and clothes were stolen from there.
'Apart from this, the time difference between the theft and the violence shows that the mob indulging in the violence was not even aware of the theft,' Renke said.
In a savage retribution for frequent thefts in Dhelpurwa village, hundreds of people took the law into their own hands and mercilessly beat up 11 suspected thieves with sticks and iron rods, killing 10 of them on September 13. The critically injured person, Ranjit Kureri, is being treated at a hospital in New Delhi.
The alleged thieves belonged to the extremely backward nomadic tribe of Kureris, who are traditionally involved in bird catching and honey gathering.