A 35 year-old man, accused of rape, has been dragged from Dimapur central prison in Nagaland, north-east India, and beaten to death in the street, reports The Guardian. An angry mob consisting of several thousand people is said to have stormed the facility, overpowering security forces and seizing the man, who was being held on suspicion of raping a woman on February 23rd 2015.
The incident is being seen as symptomatic of rising tensions across India, as anger over the high rate of violence against women increases. The Nation reports a statement from the Press Trust of India news agency, which highlights a protest rally against violence against women as being the spark for the incident.
“A mass protest rally against the rape was held at Dimapur (Nagaland’s main commercial town) this morning, after which students and angry people forced [their way] into the district jail and managed to pull out the accused.”
These tensions have apparently also been aggravated by the decision of the Indian government to ban the BBC documentary, India’s Daughter, which examines the fatal gang-rape of a female student in Delhi in 2012, while highlighting the cultural attitudes seen as enabling such crimes.
The documentary – access to which the Indian government has also reportedly asked the video sharing website YouTube to block – features misogynistic comments from one of the convicted rapists, along with his legal team. However, reports also indicate that concerns over illegal immigration may have been another significant contributory factor in the violent incident.
The suspect seized upon by the mob is said to have been identified as an illegal Bangladeshi settler. CNN reports that, contrary to the assertions of the Press Trust of India, the mob had originally assembled to protest the allocation of trade permits to Bangladeshi settlers.
Time reports that the man, named as Syed Farid Khan, was dragged through the streets, naked, while the angry crowd kicked him, and pelted him with stones. Those assembled then attempted to drag the man to the local clock tower for hanging. It is reported that authorities attempted to rescue the man and subdue the crowd using teargas and canes. As the situation escalated, however, shots were fired, leaving several of the crowd injured.
Business Standard reports that an official from the Home Ministry of India has confirmed an investigation into the situation.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked for a report on the incident.”
According to CNN, social unrest has been ongoing since the killing of the rape suspect in Dimapur, and authorities have placed the town under curfew.
[Image: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images]