The growing incidents of “mob lynching” have became a matter of serious concern in Bihar, dealing a severe blow to chief minister Nitish Kumar’s much-publicised rule of law claim. In the past five days, as many as six persons have been beaten to death by angry mobs, which indicate the seriousness of the situation.

The latest incident was reported from Sasaram, district headquarters of Rohtas district on Tuesday.

Police said a railway employee was going to deposit Rs30 lakh in cash with the local bank when three robbers tried to rob him at the point of firearms.

After failing in their attempts, the miscreants wounded the railway staff with the butt of revolvers as he raised alarms. Hearing his alarms local villagers rushed to the spot as the miscreants tried to scare them away by opening fire on them. But the angry villagers kept chasing the criminals fleeing on their bikes and ultimately caught one of them.

Subsequently, the mob attacked him with belts, sticks and other hard objects, wounding him critically. By the time he could be rescued and rushed to the hospital, he had succumbed to injuries, reports said. On Sunday (9 September), a 24-year-old youth had been lynched by an angry mob in Sitamarhi district on the suspicion of being a thief. As per reports, he was fleeing after snatching money from a van driver when he raised an alarm which resulted in mob catching him and beating him to death.

The police have registered a case against 150 unidentified persons in connection with the incident. On 8 September, a Dalit woman was lynched by an angry mob in Rohtas district on the suspicion of being a “witch”. Police said the angry mob caught Mala Devi, 50, a resident of Dehri town and mercilessly thrashed her with bamboo sticks, resulting in grievous injuries. She was rushed to a local hospital where she was declared brought dead.

Earlier on 7 September, angry mob lynched three youths while they were fleeing after kidnapping a school girl in Begusarai district.

Reports said three armed miscreants were fleeing after abducting the girl on their motorbikes when the local villagers gave them a hot chase and nabbed all of them.

Within no time, the angry mob went on assaulting them with heavy bamboo sticks, resulting in their instantaneous deaths on the ground. Police later said the villagers killed the miscreants in “self-defense”. The opposition Rahstriya Janata Dal (RJD) has slammed the chief minister for a spate of “mob justice” in the state and wondered why the chief minister looks so helpless to tackle crime.

“I feel ashamed to see the chief minister never looking so helpless despite boarding the BJP’s ‘double-engine’ bullet train. Did he want to show such horror before the masses when he decided to return to the BJP camp last year in a gross disrespect to people’s mandate?” asked RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav who served as the deputy chief minister in the previous Grand Alliance government

Tejahswi also tweeted a long list of criminal incidents taking place in the past few days to explain how the law and order situation had gone out of control. Kumar had claimed Bihar would move fast on the path to progress with “double-engine” government in Bihar and at the Center while returning to the BJP camp last year.