PATNA –One Mohammad Babar, 28, lost his life while two others Rukanuddin Alam, 32, and Mohammad Sajid were seriously injured in a mob lynching incident that occurred in the wee hours of February 23 in Deeha village under Belaganj police station of Gaya district, some 90 kilometers south of the  state capital.

Police say that they were beaten on the suspicion of being thieves but the families of victims say that they were returning from somewhere and were beaten due to a local feud. Independent sources said that the three youths were out hunting Nilgays.

“At that time some people irrigating their fields saw them and tried to catch them. When they tried to flee, they were followed and a mob gathered after the men’s shouting in the field. They were beaten by the mob and thrown away thinking them dead”, said a local journalist.

There is another version that they were caught because of a Barat party whose members were awake at that time.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Gaya, Ashish Kumar Bharti in a statement said that the police have recovered a Scorpio car, three cartridges, one knife, and a bomb from the spot. According to Gaya police injured Sajid and Rukanuddin have some cases registered against them at Bela police station under sections 147/148/149 (rioting/armed with deadly weapon/unlawful assembly)/307 B/354 and 341(wrongful confinement)/323(causing hurt)/325(grievous hurt)/379. There is no mention of any case against the deceased Mohammad Babar.

Ex-administrator of Bihar Minority Commission and social activist Syed Sharim Ali who hails from the same locality alleged that the incidents of theft are not controlled by the police and real culprits are not caught while three innocent youths were attacked by the mob. He said that the inaction of the police caused this mob lynching. He questioned the police version of the suspected theft stating that no thief takes a Scorpio van to steal.

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