It was brutality Indians should be ashamed of. A truck driver who ran over a schoolboy near Basti More in Asansol in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal was burnt alive by a frenzied mob.
He was tied to a tree, thrashed and repeatedly stabbed. Still not content, someone thought up the idea of pouring kerosene on him and burning him alive. And he was, reports the Times of India.
Abodh Kishore Singh screamed for mercy, but no one came forward to help. Hundreds of villagers watched him go up in flames. When police arrived an hour later, Singh was completely burnt and barely breathing. He died in a Kolkata clinic around 9 pm on Wednesday.
Around 11 am, 13-year-old Bikash Bauri, a Class VI student of Santadangal High School, was returning home on a bicycle when he was caught under the wheels of a coal-laden truck and was crushed to death.
The truck sped on for a hundred metres before it stalled. Singh (40) and the helper jumped off and ran away as a few villagers chased them.
Singh took shelter in someone's house and waited for an hour, hoping the anger would die down. But as soon as he came out of hiding, Bauripara residents spotted him. They dragged Singh to their locality, tied him to a neem tree and started beating him with sticks. Knives and choppers were also out soon.
The mob frenzy spiralled. Someone called for kerosene. A few bottles were brought from nearby houses and the hapless driver was set on fire. "Nobody dared go to his rescue because the mob was out of control and would have turned on the rescuer," eyewitness Sujit Patra told the newspaper.
The Asansol police reached the spot an hour later, but Singh was nearly dead by then. He was taken to Asansol subdivisional hospital, where doctors referred him to Kolkata. But he did not survive.
A senior official asserted that "no one would be spared" for the gory incident, but till late night, there had been no arrests. Indeed the lynch mob was very much around, near a dying Singh when the police arrive on the scene. Still none was touched.
The driver, a resident of Asansol, was married and leaves behind two children. The helper is still missing. All vehicles stopped plying on the road after the incident and shops downed their shutters.