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Punjab minister watches as mob beats up alleged thief

National,Politics, Mon, 06 Oct 2008 IANS

Jalandhar, Oct 2 (IANS) On a day when Gandhian ideals of non-violence are being remembered, a senior cabinet minister in Punjab Thursday chose to overlook scores of people who took law in their hands outside his residence here while beating up a youth who they thought was a thief.


Punjab's Industries and Local Government Minister Manoranjan Kalia, who belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and lives in Central town here, came to the terrace of his residence and watched the helpless youth, who was tied to an electric pole, being beaten black and blue.



The minister, who had several Punjab police guards posted at his residence, neither sent them nor called the area police to control the situation.



The minister, on seeing that television cameras were watching him also, beat a hasty retreat in to the house from his terrace.



Efforts to contact him later failed.



The youth was caught by people in the area Thursday morning after he was accused by some people of pick-pocketing and stealing things. Most of the complainants were newspaper vendors.



The vendors claimed that the youth was hooked to drugs and used to steal things. They said that a few syringes were found from his pocket.



The mob tore off the shirt of the youth and tied him to the pole. Several of them then beat him up.



None of them bothered to call the police and hand over the alleged thief to them. It was only after the youth got a sound thrashing, someone from the public informed the police, who came later.


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