Two suspected 'cattle thieves' were lynched by a mob in Nagaon district of Indian state of central Assam on Sunday, reported Hindustan Times

Indian Police said the incident took place at Kachamari Pathar, nearly 130 km from the state capital, when a group of people intercepted two youths on suspicion of stealing cows and attacked them.

“The victims were chased by the mob on suspicion of stealing cows from a grazing field and beaten severely. They died while being brought to hospital,” superintendent of Indian police Debraj Upadhyay told HT.

Post mortem of the victims identified as Abu Hanifa and Riyazuddin Ali, both in their 20s, revealed that they sustained grievous external injuries as a result of the attack.

“By the time the police reached the spot the victims had already sustained lot of injuries. We have registered a case of murder and are investigating. No arrests have been made yet,” Upadhyay added.

In some border areas of Assam, cattle are smuggled into Bangladesh.

In Assam, the slaughter of cows is banned except on issuance of fit for slaughter certificate at designated places under the Assam Cattle Preservation Act. According to the Act, cows of any age can be slaughtered in the state on the occasion of Id-ul-Zuha.

Hindu groups have been demanding a ban on cow slaughter in various places in Assam, particularly after the BJP swept to power in the state last year.

While simmering tension over beef have not spilt over so far, the arrest of three Muslim youth, including a juvenile in Jorhat in Upper Assam earlier this month for possessing beef had vitiated the atmosphere.