TT, Jalpaiguri, May 1: A woman died today after being beaten by a neighbour during a shalishi (kangaroo court) hearing that was prompted by a dispute over irrigating a vegetable field in Jalpaiguri.
The woman has been identified as Janki Roy, 42, a resident of Dhamipara village in Baropatia Natunbash panchayat, around 18km from here. Police sources said the assaulter was Suraj Oraon.
Akash Megharia, the police superintendent of Jalpaiguri district, said Suraj had fled after the incident.
The police sources said Suraj used to irrigate his farmland by using water from a nearby Teesta canal. Janki today requested him to share the water and urged him to dig a channel connecting their fields on which gourd and pumpkim were being grown.
But Suraj refused to share the water and an argument broke out between Janki’s husband Dinabandhu and him. The row lef to a scuffle, the police sources said.
The police sources added that after Janki narrated the incident to Ranjit Roy, a Trinamul panchayat member, the latter called a meeting at 9am today.
Janki accused Suraj of not sharing the canal water. Suraj then allegedly hit her on her head with bamboo stick. The villagers took her to the Jalpaiguri district hospital where she was pronounced dead.
“I wanted to settle the issue between two families and called a meeting at Janki’s place. But Suraj Oraon attacked her with a bamboo stick. It is very tragic that Janki died. I have informed the police, Ranjit Roy said.