A 55-year-old man was beaten to death by over 300 people in Bihar’s Araria district on suspicion of cattle theft last month, NDTV quoted the Bihar Police as saying on Thursday. The incident took place in Simarbani village, about 300 km from state capital Patna, on December 29.

In a video clip, allegedly shot by the attackers on their mobile phones, the man is seen being beaten up with sticks and kicked in the face. The attackers can be heard laughing and encouraging others in the crowd to continue beating the man even as he prays for mercy.

The police launched an investigation after a video of the assault went viral on social media two days later.

Araria Sub-Divisional Officer KP Singh said the victim knew all the attackers and they belong to the same community. The police have registered a First Information Report against unknown persons and a search is on to nab the main accused, he added.

An unidentified senior police officer told DNA that the victim had been identified as Mohammad Kabul, who had several cases to his name. “We are trying to identify the culprits in the video and strict action will be taken against them,” he said.

In another incident on Wednesday, a mob protesting a Rashtriya Janata Dal leader’s death in Nalanda district had allegedly lynched two people, including a 14-year-old boy. The leader, Indal Paswan, was shot dead in Nalanda district on Tuesday night. Three people have been arrested so far.

Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, accused the state government of turning the state into “Lynch-Vihar”. “Mobocracy prevails in Bihar,” he tweeted. “Law and order is out of control in Bihar as the Nitish Kumar government is working hand-in-glove with criminals.”