Two cattle transporters found dead in Chhattisgarh; kin allege mob attack

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Raipur, Jun 7 (PTI) Two cattle transporters died and another sustained serious injuries under suspicious circumstances after being allegedly chased by a mob in Chhattisgarh's Raipur district on Friday, police said.

So far there was no evidence to suggest it was a case of mob lynching and autopsy reports were awaited, said a senior official.

However, kin of the victims claimed they were brutally assaulted by a mob, which threw them off a bridge on Mahanadi river.

The incident took place in the wee hours under Arang police station area on Raipur-Mahasamund interdistrict border, Additional Superintendent of Police (Raipur rural) Kirtan Rathore told PTI.

On being alerted that three persons were lying injured below a 30-feet high bridge on the Mahanadi river, a police team was rushed to the spot, he said.

The truck in which they were ferrying cattle was found on the bridge.

Of the three men, one was found dead and the other two were in serious condition. They were admitted to a hospital in Mahasamund where one of them succumbed to his injuries, the official said.

The deceased were identified as Guddu Khan alias Mohamed Tehsin (35) and Chand Miya (33). The injured, Saddam Kureshi, was later shifted to a hospital in Raipur.

All three hailed from Uttar Pradesh. Khan hailed from Saharanpur while Chand Miya was from Shamli district, the ASP said.

As per preliminary investigation, the three were heading towards Raipur from Mahasamund with animals when some people chased the vehicle.

The truck, found stationary on the bridge later, has been seized and the animals have been shifted to a cow shelter, the police official said.

"Autopsy reports of the deceased men were awaited. We have asked doctors to provide a brief report as soon as possible. We are also checking the CCTV footage along the route. Till now we have no evidence to say it is mob lynching. Efforts are being made to identify those who chased them," ASP Rathore said.

The injured man was in no position to give a statement to police at present, the official said.

Asked if the bodies of the deceased had external injuries caused by assault, he said, "Injuries can be caused if they had fallen from a 30-feet high bridge and landed on the stones. Only a post-mortem report can tell how the injuries were caused." Speaking to reporters, Shoaib, a cousin of Chand and Saddam, however, said a mob had attacked the three persons.

He claimed he had got a call from Chand, adding that his friend Mohsin was called by Saddam when they were being attacked.

"Chand told me they were being attacked by a mob. But before he could provide any detail, the call got disconnected," Shoaib claimed.

In the second call to Mohsin, which lasted for 47 minutes, Saddam could be heard telling that his limbs were broken, Shoaib said.

"Saddam could be heard pleading with his attackers to spare him. I believe Saddam had put his phone in his pocket while he was calling (Mohsin) and it never got disconnected so everything could be heard clearly," he claimed.

Police officials said a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder has been registered and further probe was underway in the incident. PTI TKP KRK BNM