23 arrested for burning truck driver to death

February 21st, 2008 - 3:14 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, Feb 21 (IANS) The police have arrested 23 people for burning to death a truck driver in a West Bengal town after a boy came under the wheels of the vehicle Wednesday. A mob tied the truck driver to a tree, doused him with kerosene and set him on fire after a 12-year-old boy was run over in Burnpur, about 250 km from here in Burdwan district.

“We have arrested 23 people so far in connection with the mob fury. They are all locals and part of the mob which set Abodh Kishore Singh on fire,” Burdwan Superintendent of Police Piyush Pande told IANS Thursday.

“We have registered murder cases against all these people,” he said.

When a local Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) councillor and police arrived at the spot, Abodh Kishore Singh was in flames, with his feet tied to the tree while the accident victim Bikash Barui, 12, was lying on the road dead.

The CPI-M supporters and police doused the flames and took Singh to a hospital. He was later shifted to Belle Vue hospital in Kolkata where he was declared dead.

Singh had sustained almost 80 percent burns along with cuts and gashes on his head and legs.

The incident took place around 11 a.m. Wednesday when Singh was driving the truck towards the New Town slum area near IISCO steel plant’s slag bank. He lost control while taking a turn and hit Bikash, who was on the way to school on a bicycle.

Singh first tried to flee but was soon caught by local youths, who stoned the truck, smashed the windscreen and deflated the tyres.

The mob swelled in number and soon beat the driver up, tied him to a tree and then set him on fire.

Reports said the Hirapur police station is only about 2.5 km away but the police team arrived half an hour after Singh was set ablaze. The driver’s wife, Baby, had also rushed to the spot and found her husband in flames.

“I saw my husband burning and could do nothing. He was begging for help but we were not sure about what to do. His flesh was melting from his arms, chest and legs,” Baby told reporters.

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