Three Muslim cattle traders were lynched by an angry mob allegedly over child-lifting rumours in a Jharkhand village on Thursday night. They were travelling in a group of four, and the fate of the fourth person is not known yet.

The families of the deceased have demanded compensation from the government. The police have yet to lodge a First Information Report in the case, reported The Telegraph. The incident took place in Shobhapur village in Rajnagar block.

A group of four men were on their way from Haldipokar to Rajnagar to buy cattle and sell them at the Saturday market, when they were attacked by a local vigilante group. The mob is believed to have followed their car on suspicion that they were child-lifters. They stopped the car around midnight and attacked the men but three of them managed to escape. However, the vigilante group hounded them and beat them up. They also set their vehicle on fire. One of the four men died in hospital.

The whole incident started around midnight and went on till early morning hours. The mob also assaulted police officers when they tried to intervene.

The police said there was no communal angle to the incident. “Though victims are Muslims, there is no communal colour to the incident,” Kolhan DIG Prabhat Kumar said. Seraikela-Kharsawan SP Rakesh Bansal told The Telegraph. “Villagers gripped by fear of child-lifters have committed the crime.”