One man was killed and two others injured in Khunti district of Jharkhand Sunday after they were assaulted by a mob that accused them of “slaughtering” a cow. Police said the men were attacked around 10 am in Jaltanda Suari village, when villagers spotted them allegedly carving out meat from an animal carcass.
“The three villagers, identified as Kalantus Barla, Philip Horo and Faagu Kacchap, are alleged to have been carving an animal prohibited for slaughtering. Other villagers spotted them and started beating them. However, police reached the spot as we got information and rushed them to hospital. Barla sustained grievous injuries and he died before reaching hospital. The other two are said to be stable,” said DIG (Chhotanagpur Range) Homkar Amol Venukant.
The DIG said that there was no clarity on the “sequence of events” and that the matter is under investigation. He said no arrests have been made and that “there are a few persons detained for questioning”.
This year in April, a tribal Christian Prakash Lakra was killed after being lynched by a mob allegedly after he along with other villagers were allegedly “carving a dead ox” in Jhurmo village of Gumla district. In the case, the police booked the injured under the Jharkhand Bovine Animal Prohibition of Slaughter Act.
In September alone, at least three similar incidents have been reported across the state. On September 11, a 70-year-old man was beaten to death after he was suspected to be a child lifter in Sahibganj district on September 11, while on September 3, a man in his 40s was assaulted by a mob of over 50 people in Ramgarh district and he died on the way to hospital. On September 6, a man in Kagti Pahari village of Dhanbad died after he was thrashed over similar rumours.
In the last three years, at least 21 people have died in mob violence across the state. The lynchings have stemmed from accusations of animal slaughter, theft and child lifting rumours among others. In addition, more than 90 people have been killed by mobs on suspicion of practising witchcraft in Jharkhand since January 2017.