The bodies of two cattle traders, one of whom is a teenager, were found hanging from a tree in Jhabbar village in Jharkhand’s Latehar district Friday morning. Police said their hands were tied and the bodies bore injury marks, indicating they were hanged after being beaten to death.
While an FIR says a group of people had been spotted beating up Muhammad Majloom (35) and Azad Khan alias Ibrahim (15), it does not say anything about the possible reasons for the attack, they added.
While Majloom was a resident of Balu Gaon in Balumath, Khan lived in Nawada village in Herhatganj police station area. Latehar SP Anoop Birthare said: “Their hands were tied and it appears they were hanged after being beaten to death. Their bodies have been sent for post-mortem.”
According to police, preliminary investigation revealed that the two were on their way to a cattle market in Chatra district. They had at least eight oxen with them, which they intended to sell, said police. They were reportedly caught by a group of persons in the early hours, beaten to death and hanged.
Police said no oxen was found on the spot. “It has to be investigated if this is a case of business rivalry or cattle loot or something else,” said Birthare.
After the bodies were spotted, villagers gathered at the spot and then blocked the Ranchi-Chatra Road. The SP and other senior police officers reached the spot and assured families of the deceased of speedy investigation. “The families of the deceased agreed, but some troublemakers resorted to heavy stone pelting. Apart from the SDO (Latehar) Kamlesh Narayan, one ASI and several policemen sustained head injuries in the stone-pelting. Police had to open fire in the air to disperse the crowd,” said Birthare.
Police said a relative of one of the deceased had lodged a complaint in which he named one person. “The FIR does not specify what could have prompted the attack. It says some people had been seen beating up the two,” said the SP, refusing to disclose the name in the FIR.
Palamu DIG Saket Kumar Singh, said: “We held a peace committee meeting in the evening. We have assured villagers of a speedy investigation. They in turn have assured us that peace would prevail in the area. The manner of killing is serious and there will be no laxity in the investigation.”