KolKata: Villagers near Dhupguri town in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district allegedly lynched two persons suspected of being cattle transporters early on Sunday. One of the victims was from the state’s Coochbehar district, and the other was from Assam. “The bodies have been sent for a post-mortem examination, and we have started an investigation,” a senior police officer from Jalpaiguri.
The police said the incident took place around 3 am in Dadon 2 village, about 15 km from Dhupguri. The van driver who escaped the attack told the police that they had lost their way and had been going around in circles when they were attacked
“The villagers blocked the road and forced them to stop the vehicle. The two men were then dragged out of the vehicle and lynched. The driver of the vehicle escaped,” said senior West Bengal police official.
It was too early to say whether the murders were motivated by religion or suspicions the men were mistreating the cows, police added.
An investigation is underway into the lynching and into whether the drivers had legally purchased the cattle or were smugglers involved in the illicit beef trade.
India has been reeling this year from a spate of vigilante murders, especially targeting Muslims for allegedly killing cows or consuming beef.
There has been a surge in attacks by “cow protection” vigilante groups, who roam highways inspecting livestock trucks for any trace of the animal.