Violence Breaks Out in India's West Bengal Over Muslim Man's Death in Police Custody
13:53 GMT 06.07.2021 (Updated: 10:36 GMT 19.07.2022)
Following the incident, all telephone lines at Barakar Police Station seem to have been disconnected. It remains unclear if any police officials have been injured.
Violence erupted in the Assansol district in India's West Bengal state on Tuesday after a Muslim man died in police custody, a media report said.
The incident occurred in the district's Barakar neighbourhood, Indian news channel Times Now reported.
Visuals emerging from the area show an angry mob pelting police with stones and vandalising law enforcement property. Government vehicles parked at the Barakar Police Station were also set on fire. The police reacted by throwing tear gas shells at the crowd, local media reported.
— Nedrick News (@nedricknews) July 6, 2021
Police in Barakar detained a man named Arnaan Khan on the night of 5 July to investigate his suspected involvement in a theft case. The following day, when Khan's family members reached the police station to inquire about him, they were informed that he was feeling sick and had been taken to a nearby hospital.
At the Assansol District Hospital, the family was told he had passed away, reports said.
The incident angered locals, who marched to the police station, following which violence erupted.
Sputnik tried reaching the Barakar Police Station as well as the Assansol District Hospital multiple times, but the authorities could not be contacted.
"The area does not fall under my jurisdiction. I do not have any official information on the incident to share as of now", the office of Assansol city's assistant commissioner of police (central) responded to Sputnik's queries regarding the situation.
The deceased man belonged to a family in which the head of the household weaves mattresses.
With a population of nearly 100 million, West Bengal hosts India's fourth largest population, as per survey website populationu.com. About 27 percent of the state's population is Muslim, as per government figures.
Since holding assembly elections earlier this year, several instances of Hindu-Muslim violence have erupted.