A 50-year-old man was lynched by a mob in Bihar’s Araria district Wednesday for allegedly stealing cattle, the police said Friday.
The incident took place at Bhavanipur village under Fulkaha police station which falls in the Forbesganj sub-division and borders Nepal. The police said stolen cattle are often sold to nearby slaughterhouses.
According to the police, a villager raised an alarm after he spotted a few men allegedly stealing buffaloes and bullocks owned by Sanichar Bariyet, a resident of the village.
Fulkaha police station in-charge Nagina Kumar said, “As villagers started chasing the accused, one of the cattle thieves allegedly fired a gunshot in the air to scare away the villagers. However, while others managed to flee the spot taking advantage of the fog, Mohammed Siddiqui was caught and beaten up by the people with wooden sticks and fists. There was an estimated gathering of around 100 people. We are questioning villagers to identify the attackers. An FIR has been lodged against unknown persons.”
Siddiqui was later identified as a resident of Supaul. A post-mortem examination has been conducted, however, arrests are yet to be made, the police added.
Some villagers told the police that the thieves had already allegedly stolen some buffaloes and had kept them at Sursar bundh near the village. “They were caught while allegedly trying to steal more cattle. We keep getting complaints of cattle theft from this area but this is rare case of mob lynching,” said Forbesganj sub-divisional officer S K Albela.
Earlier in December 2019, a 53-year-old man was beaten to death by a mob on suspicion of cattle theft in Simarbani village of Araria district. The incident came to light after a video of the assault went viral on social media.
The victim, who had over a dozen criminal cases lodged against him, was out on bail. According to the police, the incident had taken place on the intervening night of December 29 and 30 when the villagers, who were keeping a vigil after two cows and a calf belonging to a villager had gone missing, saw a man moving suspiciously in the area along with another person.