A group of suspected anti-socials bore the brunt of mob fury on Wednesday morning. The angry mob, chased the group and hacked three of them and critically injured another person near Gulmohar Nagar in east Nagpur.
According to reports, the suspected people had created terror among the residents of Gulmohar Nagar and Bharatwada over the last one month, when there was also a drastic rise in number of robberies in the area. Last week, a minor girl of the area was raped by an unknown person.
It was said that the group of men used to carry out crimes in the evenings. A strong rumour was doing rounds about the involvement of a gang from outside the area in the criminal activities, including targeting women at night.
Residents also said that a gang of men used to visit homes, posing as salesmen, and then rob the homes and molest women.
A group of residents noticed 10-15 unfamiliar persons suspiciously roaming in the area on Wednesday morning. They chased them and finally caught hold of them. By then, a mob of over 500 people, including women and children, gathered who beat them with lathis, iron rods and pelted stones on them.
Three people died on the spot while one was injured seriously. Initially a police van from Kalamna arrived at the spot to take control of the situation. But the mob didn't spare the police too and pelted stones on them, forcing the police to retreat.
Victims were identified as: Hasan Solanki (30), S Nagate (25) and Punjab Shinde (45) all from Jalgaon Jamod of Buldhana district. The injured, Punjab Solanki (32), was admitted to the Mayo General hospital where his condition is reported to be very serious.
Earlier, a mob of around 200 women from Kasturba Nagar had lynched Akku Yadav, who raped several women at Nagpur court premises in August 2004.
The commissioner of police (CP), Ankush Dhanvijay, however, said that the deceased were possibly victims of mistaken identity. The persons who were hacked to death by the mob might have done it presuming them to be the miscreants, Dhanvijay said. "They were poor people and came to Nagpur for a religious purpose," he claimed.
According to him, they are the victims of a rumour that was being spread in the locality for the last one month.