Lynch mob drags alleged child-killers from India police station

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Two men suspected of raping and murdering a five-year-old girl in a remote north-east Indian state were dragged from a police station and lynched by an enraged mob, police said on Tuesday (Feb 20).

The girl's disappearance from Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh state, and the discovery of her badly disfigured body, sparked widespread anger.

The accused, both plantation workers from neighbouring Assam state, were being questioned by police when a hundreds-strong mob carrying weapons stormed the compound on Monday.

"The mob damaged the station and took away the accused before beating them to death with clubs, hammers and stones," Lohit police chief Issac Pertin told AFP.

Fifteen people, including several policemen, were injured. No arrests have been made yet in connection with the lynching.

Police had charged the pair, aged 30 and 25, with raping and killing the girl and said they confessed to the crime during interrogation.

The girl's body was found on a tea estate where the accused lived.

Rights group Amnesty India condemned the lynching, saying vigilantism was not the answer.

"Members of the lynch mob who killed the two suspects must be brought to justice. Nobody should be allowed to take the law into their own hands," Amnesty's Arijit Sen said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Conflict between ethnic tribal inhabitants of Arunachal Pradesh and migrant workers from nearby states sometimes boils over into skirmishes.

In 2015 a mob broke into a jail in neighbouring Nagaland state and murdered a migrant worker accused of raping a tribal woman.