The son of a former Bihar minister was lynched by a mob after he was allegedly caught while attempting to steal a vehicle in Samastipur district in the wee hours on Sunday.
Police said Rajiv Sahni, son of former Bihar animal husbandry minister Ramashray Sahni, died on the spot.
The vigilante killing took place at Asimchak village in Dalsinghsarai sub-division of Samastipur, about 90 km north east of state capital Patna.
Samastipur superintendent of police (SP) Babu Ram said an FIR has been registered at the Dalsinghsarai police station.
“The FIR was lodged on the basis of a statement given by deceased Rajiv Sahni’s associate, Rajaram, who also received a thrashing but survived,” the SP told HT Sunday forenoon.
Babu Ram said post-mortem on the body has been completed but the medical report was still awaited.
“A police team led by a deputy superintendent of police is gathering the facts of what happened,” he added. Dalsinghsarai police station SHO Animesh Kumar said a vigilante mob set upon Rajiv and Rajaram when they were “caught red-handed” while trying to steal a Bolero pickup van.
“This happened (post midnight) in Paswan Tola locality of Asimchak village, where the driver of the pickup van had parked the vehicle for the night,” the SHO said.
He said the deceased had several cases of vehicle theft pending against him. “His associate Rajaram admitted to trying to steal the vehicle and claimed he had been forced to accompany Rajiv,” Kumar said.
“In his FIR, Rajaram has not identified members of the mob that set upon him and on Rajiv,” he revealed.
The SHO said Rajaram has been sent to Darbhanga medical college hospital in the neighbouring north Bihar district of Darbhanga for further treatment.
This is not the first time that the taint of vehicle theft has visited a family member of Ramashray Sahni, who was animal husbandry minister in the Lalu Prasad government in the early 1990s.
On March 30 last year, Sahni’s other son, identified by police as Mukesh Kumar Sahni, was arrested along with his associate and two stolen vehicles at Belari village of Samastipur.