Ranchi, May 19: At least six people were beaten to death in Jharkhand on Thursday by mobs amid rumours of child stealing gangs. Three Muslim cattle traders were lynched to death by an angry mob over child-lifting rumours in a Jharkhand village near Jamshedpur on Thursday night. Another incident of mob lynching took place in east Singbhum district, where three men, Vikas Kumar Verma, Gautam Kumar verna and Gangesh Gupta, were dragged out of a house and beaten to death. A woman was brutally assaulted by the angry mob.

The mob also attacked the Muslim-dominated Shobhapur village, assaulted three cops and set their jeep on fire. No FIR has been lodged and no one arrested so far, with police ruling out any communal angle attached to the incident. Four Muslim cattle traders, identified as Sheikh Naim (35), Sheikh Sajju (25), Sheikh Siraj (26) and Sheikh Halim (28) were on their way from Haldipokar to Rajnagar to buy cattle, when a mob consisting of over 100 people intercepted and thrashed them, reported The Telegraph. After being brutally beaten up, three of them died, while the fate of Sheikh Halim is yet to be known.

According to police, a mob of self-appointed child-thief vigilantes intercepted the car, but the men did not stop. This apparently provoked the crowd, which chased them and forced them to stop at Daru village. The mob caught hold of Naim while the other three escaped. The mob beat him to death. By knowing Naim was a Muslim, they thought his three friends fled to nearby Muslim-dominated Shobhapur village, and went there.

When confronted by a team of cops, the mob assaulted them too and torched their jeep. The mob managed to trace Sajju and Siraj, who had been given refuge by one Sunil Mahto and lynched the duo. “Though victims are Muslims, there is no communal colour to the incident. Villagers gripped by fear of child-lifters have committed the crime,” Kolhan DIG Prabhat Kumar was quoted as saying.