Hundreds of tribals have lynched seven people in separate incidents in Jharkhand in the past 24 hours over rumours of child abduction that spread like wildfire across the tribal belt in the state's southern districts, police said on Friday.
The families of the deceased have demanded compensation from the government.
In the second, related incident in adjoining Seraikela district three more men were lynched on similar suspicions, Anand said. The police have yet to lodge a First Information Report in the case, reported The Telegraph. Police ruled out any communal motive and said the mob apparently took the three to be child lifters.
A group of four men were on their way from Haldipokar to Rajnagar to buy cattle and sell them at the Saturday market, when they were attacked by a local vigilante group.
Later, in the evening, barely 20 kilometers from Sobhapur in Nagadih village, a mob of tribals lynched three young men, two of them brothers, and thrashed their grandmother. Two vehicles were also damaged.
The whole incident started around midnight and went on till early morning hours.
"These are highly superstitious acts that can not be called communal", said East Singhbhum senior police superintendent of police, Anup T Mathew. It has been reported that the police also was targeted by the villagers when they tried to intervene. "Villagers gripped by fear of child-lifters have committed the crime".