Two men were lynched by a mob in the central Assam district of Nagaon on Sunday following suspicion that they were trying to steal two cows from a village. Nagaon SP Debaraj Upadhyaya said Abu Hanifa, 23, and Riazuddin Ali, 24, were beaten up after some villagers raised an alarm, alleging the two men had chased away two cows from the grazing ground in village Kasomari on Sundayafternoon.
“Villagers came out in large numbers, chased the two and assaulted them. While the police managed to rescue the two, they had serious injuries and they later died at the Jajari primary health centre,” SP Upadhyaya told The Indian Express over telephone.
Upadhyaya said a case of murder had been registered against unknown persons. “We are trying to gather video footage and other evidence to ascertain the identity of the attackers,” the SP said.
The two victims hailed from village Naromari Jamtola, about 2 km from Kasomari, Upadhyaya said. “We have handed over the bodies to the families after conducting the post-mortem examination and other formalities,” he said, adding, “Incidents of cattle theft has been on the rise in different parts of the district.”
Over the last few years, there have been other such instances in the Northeast of mobs lynching alleged cattle-lifters. In July 2015, a mob had lynched a man at Rangamati village in Golaghat district after they reportedly caught him driving a vehicle which had over a dozen cows allegedly stolen from the Rangamati tea estate. In October 2014, three Bangladeshi nationals were done to death in Akhrabari, a border village in Tripura.