A mob in an Indian village of Bihar state has beaten to death three men suspected of trying to steal cattle.
This is the latest in a spate of “cow vigilante” attacks that have provoked alarm among religious minorities and socially underprivileged classes.
The three men were caught by some villagers in Saran district’s Pithauri village early on Friday while trying to load cattle on a pick-up truck, according to the police officials.
“They were trying to load a buffalo and a calf when some villagers woke up and took the three into their custody and beat them up to death,” they added.
At least one of the dead was Muslim. A fourth man was in critical condition in hospital after the attack.
Police have filed a case of theft against the three men, and the villagers face a separate case of murder filed by the victims’ families, naming three accused people, although more names are likely to be added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been criticised for not condemning the attacks quickly or strongly enough.