Tribal man lynched, body set on fire over illegal tree-felling in Jharkhand
A tribal man was lynched and set on fire on Tuesday by a mob on suspicion of felling trees and stealing wood at a village in Jharkhand’s Simdega district, police said.
The victim was in his 30s and was identified as Sanju Pradhan. He was killed in the presence of local residents in Besrabazar village under Kolebira police station around 2 pm on Tuesday.
“As per the initial probe, around 500 villagers were present when the incident occurred. We have recovered the half burnt body of Sanju Pradhan, who had criminal antecedents. He had three cases registered against him for links with Maoists and had been to jail in connection with these cases,” said Rameshwar Bhagat, in-charge of Kolebira police station.
No arrests have been made so far. There was tension in the village and additional police have been deployed in the area.
“In the initial probe, we have information that a section of his fellow villagers had complained against him to the forest department for illegally cutting trees,” Bhagat said. “They were angry that no action was taken against Pradhan.”
Simdega district administration must take appropriate action against those involved in the lynching, Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren said.
This is the second incident of lynching in the state barely a fortnight after the Jharkhand legislative assembly passed the Prevention of Mob Violence and Mob Lynching Bill, 2021, which aims at providing “effective protection” of constitutional rights and the prevention of mob violence in the state.
On Saturday, villagers in Gumla district brutally beat up two tribal brothers, alleging that their mother practised witchcraft. One of the brothers lost his eyesight due to injuries.