Ranchi: The menace of cow vigilantism once again reared its ugly head, this time in Jharkhand, where two men, suspected to be cattle thieves, have been lynched on Wednesday by a vigilante mob in the Godda district.
According to police, the two who have been beaten to death were part of a gang of five that entered a village and stole 13 buffaloes. However, some villagers woke up and raised an alarm after which more people gathered and chased the thieves, police added.
"Villagers caught hold of two of the thieves and started beating them due to which they died", said Godda Superintendent of Police (SP) Rajeev Ranjan Singh.
Three others managed to escape.
According to reports, the victims have been identified as Murtaza Ansari (30) and Sirabuddin Ansari (35) and belonged to a nearby village, about 30-40 km from the crime spot.
A case has been registered and four people from the village have been arrested, police added.
Security has been tightened in and around the village after the incident was reported.
Police official told NDTV that one of the two victims who were beaten to death had a criminal background while the other was his accomplice.
There had been earlier instances of cattle theft in the area, leading to anger among villagers. When the two victims were caught red-handed, villagers turned violent and beat them to death.
According to NDTV, a video of the incident captured the brutality inflicted on one of the men caught by the villagers. The man, who was half conscious after being severely injured by the blows of the villagers on his head, is slung over a bamboo pole and dragged. Those gathered keep abusing him while some recorded the incident in their mobile phones.
Police say investigations are on and action will be taken against anyone found to be involved in the ghastly act.
This isn't the first time vigilante justice has been reported from Jharkhand.
In May last year, six people were beaten to death by mob in East Singhbhum on rumours that a child stealing gang was active in the area.