According to police, Jayanta Sarkar, 52, slapped a woman following an altercation between them while fetching water from a nearby tap. Angered by his behaviour, locals attacked Sarkar with iron rods and sticks.
Sarkar, a retired Major of the Indian Army who participated in the Kargil conflict, succumbed to his injuries in hospital, a police official said.
South 24 Parganas Additional Superintendent of Police (Industrial) Sunil Kumar Chowdhury said: "We were informed that Sarkar was lynched by the locals. His body has been sent for autopsy."
"Sarkar was suffering from mental depression and often used to misbehave with his family members," Chowdhury said.
His family members said he was not usually allowed to go out of the house as he was suffering from depression.
"On Friday morning, he went out of the house without informing us and later we were informed that he has been beaten to death," Sarkar's sister said.
Chowdhury said, "Local people were unaware that Sarkar was a mental patient and attacked him. We have initiated a probe into the matter but no one has been arrested so far."
Kolkata: A former army major was lynched by a mob in West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district Friday after he allegedly misbehaved with a woman, police said.
First Published: Friday, September 03, 2010, 17:52