The bodies of two cattle traders were found hanging from a tree in the village of Jhabbar in Jharkhand on Friday morning. Muhammad Majloom, 35, and Azad Khan alias Ibrahim, 15, had their hands tied behind their backs and bore injury marks on their bodies, suggesting they were hanged after being beaten, police said. According to The Indian Express, the FIR does not list any possible reasons for the attack, though it noted that a group of people were seen beating them up. ANI reported that Jharkhand police arrested five people in connection with the case.

The police said Khan and Majloom were on their way to a cattle market in Chatra district, and had at least eight oxen with them. As the animals were not found later, the police are also checking whether the crime could have been a business rivalry or a cattle loot. Violence broke out in the area as villagers gathered around the bodies, forcing the police to fire into the air to manage the crowd, said a local Superintendent of Police Anoop Bithare. However, peace has now been restored, he added.

The Times of India quoted an MLA from the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), Prakash Ramas, as saying “Hindu radicals” were behind the killings and that they were in cahoots with the police. The report also claimed that locals believe the two were targeted because they were cattle traders. However, there is no evidence to suggest this yet.