BANGALORE: Ten suspected thieves have been lynched by angry villagers in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, a police officer said Wednesday, highlighting the problem of mob justice in rural areas.“Six persons were burnt alive when their vehicle was torched at Yerrakote village late Tuesday,” Karnataka inspector-general of police Malini Krishnamurthy told AFP. “Three more were bludgeoned to death in Baralahalli village as they tried to escape,” she added.
The last of the 10 victims succumbed early Wednesday, while another was admitted to a state-run hospital in Bangalore with severe head injuries. The district police have arrested 71 people over the horrific incident after preliminary inquiries.The dead men — all in their twenties and thirties from the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh — were attacked after they apparently tried to snatch gold ornaments from a woman, Krishnamurthy said. Police suspect the victims were part of a gang who had previously visited the villages with the promise of polishing gold ornaments and jewellery only to vanish with the valuables.
“The mob stopped their vehicle, dragged six of them and tied them to the vehicle which was then torched. Three of the other six who escaped from the spot were chased and beaten to death,” an eyewitness told a local news channel. Three of the victims who were seriously injured in the attacks have been admitted to a state-run hospital.Incidents of mob violence are common in India where the police are often perceived as corrupt and ill-equipped to deal with complaints quickly enough. Those who face mob fury are often petty crooks or thieves. In Mumbai last year, two youngsters were stripped and beaten for stealing mobile phones until police intervened. – Dailytimes