Four cattle traders, including three Muslims, were beaten to death on Thursday by a mob in Seraikela-Kharsawan district in Jharkhand. The group of four men, who were on their way from Haldipokar to Rajnagar to buy cattle and sell them at the Saturday market, were attacked over child-lifting rumours, police said.
While four persons who were in one vehicle managed to escape, the other four hid themselves in a nearby place but were caught by the villagers and beaten to death, IANS reported.
The police said there was no communal angle to the incident. “Though victims are Muslims, there is no communal colour to the incident,” Kolhan DIG Prabhat Kumar said. Seraikela-Kharsawan SP Rakesh Bansal told The Telegraph. “Villagers gripped by fear of child-lifters have committed the crime.”
According to Dainik Bhaskar, as the cattle traders entered the village, dozens of people, armed with traditional weapons, came out in search of alleged “child lifters”. Those who were in one car fled the village while four in the other car left their vehicle and hid themselves nearby. One of them, who hid himself in a nearby toilet was caught by villagers and beaten to death. Other three were caught in Soso and Moli villages and beaten to death. And their car car was torched.
The deceased were identified as Naeem, Khalil, Farzu and Raju.
As the police received information about the incident, they reached the village. But the villagers torched the police vehicle too. In the ensuing clash, five policemen were injured and the villagers torched two more vehicles.
The police said there was no communal angle to the incident. “Though victims are Muslims, there is no communal colour to the incident,” Kolhan DIG Prabhat Kumar said.
Senior police officials have reached the village to take stock of the situation. Last week, three persons were lynched in the same district for being suspected child lifters.