The Bihar Post

Man lynched, set on fire for harming trees in Jharkhand

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RANCHI—A man was lynched and his body set on fire on the charges of cutting ‘sacred’ trees from a forest in Jharkhand, prompting authorities to order an investigation.

Jharkhand, an eastern Indian state, is rich in forests and mineral wealth. Various ethnic groups such as Munda, Oraon, Ho, Santhal, Paharia, Chero, Birjea, Asura follow varying practices of agro-pastoralism and traditionally, these indigenous people have symbiotic relationship with forests. Local festivals like Sarhul and Karma are customarily related with worshipping of trees.

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Police said the angry tribal villagers raided the house of Sanju Pradhan, 35, located in Simdega district on Tuesday afternoon, dragged him out of the house and then beat him to death before setting his body fire. The villagers were apparently angry at the man since he continued cutting trees from the forests despite repeated warning in the past.

“The mob first attacked the victim with stones and then beat him with sticks before setting his body on fire after his death on the charges of cutting trees,” local sub-divisional police official DavidA Dodray told the media on Wednesday. According to the police official, the victim was involved in the smuggle of forest wood which the villagers had objected earlier.

Jharkhand chief minister Heman Soren while taking the matter seriously has ordered an investigation into the matter. “Investigate the case and inform me about the action taken report in this regard,” the chief minister tweeted.

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