The Aurangabad Police have arrested nine people for allegedly beating to death two tribal men in Maharashtra’s Chandgaon village on the suspicion that they were robbers, The Indian Express reported on Monday.

Six people were severely injured in the mob attack on Friday, the police said, adding that they have booked 400 other villagers.

The mob nabbed the men from a farm and then beat them up with wooden and metal rods, the police said. Then they called the police and claimed that they had “caught robbers”. When the police visited the spot, they found six injured men. After the police dispersed the mob, a few villagers brought out two more people who had been assaulted.

All eight were taken to a hospital in Aurangabad but two of them died on the way.

“Those who have been beaten to death have no known criminal record and there is no information suggesting their involvement in robbery,” Vaijapur police station’s Assistant Inspector Bhagwan Dange said. “Over the past few weeks, there were unconfirmed reports that robber gangs were on the prowl. But no case or incident was registered.”

He added: “The villagers suspected these people to be robbers and caught them in the early hours.”

The police have booked more than 400 people on charges of murder and attempt to murder. The police said they might invoke provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.