Three men were allegedly beaten to death by an irate mob in Bihar's Sitamarhi district when they were trying to escape after injuring a trader and killing his minor son, police said on Thursday.
The incident took place at around 10pm on Wednesday when Awadh Kishore Singh and his son Ratnesh were returning home after closing his shop Awadh Electronics at Kanta Chauk under Dumra police station, 130 km north of state capital Patna. They were going to Balha village under Bathanaha police station.
"Four assailants on two motorbikes were following us from our shop. But, we did not pay much attention to them. They overtook us near Jawabipur locality and opened fire on us. My son died on the spot while I received gunshot injuries at three places on my body," said Singh.
Singh was admitted to Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital at Muzaffarpur by the local police.
Locals came out from their houses after they heard the gunshots. They chased the miscreants for nearly half a kilometre before catching them and beating them to death.
Confirming the incident, Sitamarhi superintendent of police, Hari Prasath S said, "Prima facie, it appears that the lynched men were criminals and were trying to escape from the vicinity, when the locals killed them."
Prasath said that investigation is on to find whether these people were involved in the incident.
"As of now, we have lodged a case of murder," he said.
Social activists claimed that Wednesday night's incident was a result of people's anger, who are fed up with an inactive police.
"The police officials have become so inert that people have started taking law and order in their own hands. Even the investigation process of the cases are so tardy that people have lost their patience," said Arvind Varun.
The lynching of the three comes close on the heels of Nalanda incident in which a school director was killed by an angry mob in the district on Monday.
A similar incident was reported from East Champaran district last month, when an unruly mob beat a thief mercilessly. The thief was rescued by the police.