Three people were arrested on Saturday for lynching three Muslim youth accused of cow theft in West Bengal’s Durgapur village in North Dinajpur district, The Indian Express reported. The incident took place on Thursday night after local residents allegedly caught the three men stealing cows from a house in the village.

The deceased have been identified as Nasirul Haque (30), a resident of Kutipara, Mohammad Samiruddin (32), resident of Kandarpara, and Mohammed Nasir (33) from Dhalugunj. Samiruddin and Nasir died on the spot, while Haque was taken to the Islampur sub-divisional hospital after the violence, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Officials said a group of nearly 10 people had entered the village in a van on Thursday night and were allegedly planning to steal cows from some of the houses. The men allegedly managed to steal cows from two of the houses, but were noticed by a few villagers when heading towards the third. A huge mob gathered outside the premises after they were alerted by the owner of the house. While the three men lynched were caught by the mob, all the others managed to flee.

“The locals chased them and thrashed them until they died. Their bodies have been sent for an autopsy. An impartial inquiry has been ordered into the incident,” an official said.

The police said they had arrested the accused in the incident. “We have arrested three people – Asit Basu (28), Ashim Basu (27) and Krishna Poddar (24) – based on an FIR lodged by Sunaina Bibi, the wife of deceased Mohammed Samiruddin,” Investigating Officer SI Pankaj Jha of Chopra Police State told The New Indian Express.