The primary school at Narayanpipar village. (Express photo by Santosh Singh)
It was 10.30 am on Friday and Nima Kumari, principal of a government primary school at Narayanpipar village in Bihar’s Begusarai district, had just started checking the homework copybooks after teaching a combined batch of 50-odd students from Classes I to V when three men barged into the classroom. One of them, later identified as history-sheeter Mukesh Mahto, pulled out a country-made pistol and pointed it at her and asked for a Class V girl student, she said.
“He pointed the pistol at my head. I was so nervous that I could not speak, but barely managed to gesture to the children to leave the class. While the three men kept arguing with me, some of the children raised an alarm. Some villagers, who were cutting grass nearby, were the first to react,” Kumari told The Sunday Express.
The three men — Mukesh, Bouna Singh and Heera Singh — were later caught by a mob and lynched for allegedly trying to abduct the 11-year-old girl, the police said. No FIR has been lodged in the incident so far.
Some villagers, without wishing to be identified, claimed that the three first tried to bully the villagers and Mukesh flashed the pistol at them. As the crowd swelled, Mukesh was overpowered and beaten with wooden sticks and bricks outside the school, they claimed. Bouna and Heera were caught and locked inside a classroom before being lynched, they said.
According to Begusarai SP Aditya Kumar, who visited the school on Saturday, five policemen from Chhorahi outpost — under which the village falls — had rushed to the site after they were informed about the incident. But, he claimed, they could have done little to save the three men from the mob.
“There were some 4,000-5,000 people. There was little five policemen could have done to save the two other criminals (Bouna and Heera) from the mob. We have learned that the villagers were provoked after two of them threatened to teach the villagers a lesson once they were let out,” Kumar said. The mob had already attacked Mukesh before the police reached the spot.
“All three men died on the way to hospital. We have suspended Chhorahi outpost in-charge Sintu Kumar Jha for dereliction of duty,” he added. Jha did not reach the crime scene on Friday, police sources said. Only assistant sub-inspector Amod Kumar Singh and four constables from the outpost had rushed to the school, they said.
The SP said the criminals had “come with intention to abduct a girl…Since they asked name of the girl, their abduction motive was clear. We will now investigate why they wanted to abduct her.” Police are collecting video footage from local residents, he said.
with the Express Morning Briefing