Footage of Basid Ali, tied to a tree and surrounded by a mob of youths who allegedly thrashed him, went viral.
A 32-year-old man accused of stealing iron plates from a government office died in Bareilly district after he was tied to a tree and thrashed by a mob, police said on Saturday.
A case of murder was registered at the Aonla police station against seven named accused while two were arrested, said police. A footage of Basid Ali, tied to the tree and surrounded by a mob of youths who allegedly thrashed him, was also shared widely on social media. The police said Basid was an alcoholic and even into drugs.
SP Rural Bareilly Sansar Singh said Basid was a drug abuser and in a state of intoxication had gone to the government tubewell section of the Irrigation Department where he stole an iron fan and a plate. As he left the colony, some locals raised an alarm of theft following which two guards from the Department caught him, said the police.
Prabhakar, assistant engineer at the tubewell department, said he had received information that a rag-picker was taking away pump set from the compound and was spotted by the guards.
Someone in the crowd also dialled 112 and called the police emergency services vehicle which took an injured Basid to the police station. Visuals showed Basid, his neck in an awkward position and his trousers torn, seated on a bench in the police station after being assaulted.
The tubewell department officials did not want to take further action against him saying they had recovered their items and that he lived in their neighbourhood, said Mr. Singh.
Basid’s side also said they didn’t want to pursue the matter and left, said the officer. “They took him home at around 2 p.m. At around, 3-3.30 p.m., it is said he died,” said Mr. Singh.
Several social-media users asked why Basid was not taken to a hospital by the police.
“When he was brought to the police station, he didn’t have any serious or visible injuries,” said the officer.
The body was sent for autopsy. The actual cause of death would be known after that.
Abid Ali, a former local body chairman, told reporters that Basid didn’t have any criminal record or history of being a thief.
Mohammad Samar, a local councillor, said he received news that Basid was brought home and found his condition to be ‘serious’. “His neck was probably broken,” Mr. Samar said, adding that he died within minutes of his arrival.