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28th August 2007
Shocking video footage has been broadcast of Indian police and a mob of civilians as they punched and kicked a man accused of stealing a gold chain.
He was then tied him to a motorcycle and dragged down a street.
In the video, the rail-thin suspect - wearing only tattered trousers, his hands bound behind his back - is repeatedly punched in the face and kicked in the stomach, chest and back by a mob in the eastern city of Bhagalpur.
One man can even be seen whipping the suspect, identified only as Salim, with a belt.
At one point, Salim was tied to the back of what appeared to be a police motorcycle and dragged down the street. At least two policeman could be seen in the video.
The CNN-IBN television news channel, which was among the stations that broadcast the footage, reported that Salim survived the beating but had been seriously injured and was being treated at a clinic in the city.
A woman was shown in the video holding the gold chain Salim allegedly stole, but there was no word on whether he had been charged with any crime.
A police spokesman in Bihar, the state where the incident occurred, condemned the beating. "The policemen, they have gone beyond the call of duty and they have not acted in a legal manner," said spokesman Anil Sinha.
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