The tribals were lynched in the presence of the police, as per the victims' kin.
(Photo: The Quint)
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed on Saturday, 14 May, to investigate the deaths of two tribal men, Dhansha Inawati and Sampat Wati, who were allegedly lynched by 15-20 men in Madhya Pradesh's Seoni district earlier this month.
The incident had occurred in the Semariya village under Kurai police station limits.
An FIR was registered at the time under Indian Penal Code Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 302 (murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), and Section 3 (2) (v) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
"There were 15-20 members who caught these tribals with cow meat. Instead of informing the police, they took action on their own and beat them up. Two lost their lives after they were beaten up," said Superintendent of Police (SP) Seoni Kumar Pratik.
The SP added that the police also confiscated 10 kg of cow meat.
On asked whether the accused were members of the Bajrang Dal or other right-wing groups, the SP said that the police could not confirm until all the accused were arrested and the investigation was completed.
The kin of the victims had claimed that the tribals were beaten up in the presence of the police.
The police, however, did not confirm the claims of the victims' kin.
Umesh Joga, Inspector General, Jabalpur range, claimed that the allegations of the accused belonging to Bajrang Dal and other right-wing groups couldn't be verified and were under investigation.
(With inputs from ANI.)