Three men were beaten to death by a mob in a village in Bihar’s Saran district on Thursday night, Hindustan Times reported on Friday. The mob suspected that the men had tried to steal cattle. The incident took place in Pithaoura Nandlal village under Baniyapur police station.

Two men died on the spot, while the third died during treatment, the police said. They were identified as Paigampur village residents Naushad Alam, Raju Nut and Videsh Nut. A fourth man is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Baniyapur.

Superintendent of Police Hari Kishore Rai said the villagers woke up on hearing the sound of cattle, and caught the four men. The police have arrested seven accused so far, ANI reported.

Villagers alleged that three goats were stolen from the courtyard of a person identified as Rajbali Ram. The suspected thieves then tried to steal his cattle as well, they added. However, Raju Nut and Videsh Nut’s family denied that the two were involved in the crime. “My brother was not a thief,” said Shailesh Nut. “He was to get married soon.”

Police personnel have been deployed in Pithaoura Nandlal village because of tense atmosphere prevailing there. The families of the victims and the accused clashed at Sadar Hospital in Chapra after the bodies of the three men were brought there for autopsy.

A series of attacks

There have been several mob lynchings and attacks in the country in the past several months. The latest incident occurred on July 13, when a mob beat up a police constable in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district while he was trying to resolve a land dispute.

On June 18, a Muslim man identified as Tabrez Ansari was beaten up in Jharkhand’s Seraikela Kharsawan district for allegedly attempting to steal a motorcycle. The FIR said that the mob had also forced Ansari to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. He died four days later.

A 25-year-old man was allegedly beaten up, verbally abused, and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” in Diva area of Maharashtra’s Thane district on June 24.