West Bengal: Two men lynched for being 'cow smugglers'

Two men were lynched in West Bengal's Coochbehar district on Thursday. Thirteen people have been arrested for their involvement, the police said.

According to a PTI report the incident took place in the Mathabhanga area when Babul Mitra and Prakash Das were ferrying two cows in a van. They were attacked by a mob of around 20 people who stopped the van. The van incidentally did not have a number place, reported The Indian Express.

The duo was pulled out of the van and beaten with sticks. The were accused of stealing the cows and transporting them to cattle smugglers. The mob then torched the van.

The two were rescued by the police, who then dispersed the mob. They were admitted to the hospital but succumbed to their injuries.

Coochbehar Superintendent of Police Santosh Nimbalkar said that the accused have been charged with murder and that raids were underway to identify the others who were involved in the incident.

On August 30 the West Bengal Assembly had an anti-lynching bill following a spate of incidents. The West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019, proposes a maximum punishment of life imprisonment and fines ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for offences. It is yet to be approved by the Governor of the state.