The National Human Rights Commission on Monday issued a notice to Jharkhand Director General of Police, seeking a report on the alleged lynching of seven men over child-lifting rumours. The commission, which took suo motu cognisance of the matter, asked the DGP to submit the within four weeks, reported PTI.

The commission condemned the “unpleasant” incident and said that the state’s law enforcing agencies have failed to carry out their duties. “A civilised society cannot allow such heinous crimes to occur where human lives are taken by angry mob merely on suspicion of them being anti-social elements,” read the notice.

Describing the incident as a violation of right to life, the NHRC also asked the police to suggest “preventive measure” against such incidents. Meanwhile, Jharkhand Principal Secretary (Home) SK Rahate told ANI that 18 people have been arrested in connection with the lynching.

Seven men were lynched by angry mobs in two separate incidents in Jharkhand. The first incident took place in Sobhapur village in Saraikela-Khushwahan district. Mohammed Naeem, an animal dealer and resident of Phulpal village in East Singhbhum, was passing through Sobhapur in Saraikela-Khushwahan district in a truck with three companions, Sajad Saju, Siraj and Alim on May 18. The people of the neighbouring Rajnagar village, who came to Sobhapur in search of child-kidnappers, attacked and killed Naeem and his three companies.

Later, a similar incident took place in Nagari village in East Singhbhum district, where a mob killed three people, including one Gautam Verma and his brother Vikas Verma, claiming that they were “bachcha chors” or child kidnappers. The Vermas had gone to the village to enquire about buying some land there.

The lynching sparked tension in Jamshedpur that saw clashes between protestors and the police on Sunday morning. Prohibitory orders under Section 144, which disallows more than four people from gathering at a place, were imposed in four parts of the city after violence in and around the areas on Saturday.