Farid Khan, who was arrested in February on charges of rape, was lynched after a mob of thousands of people broke into a prison in Dimapur, the largest city in the Indian state of Nagaland. Although members of the police force tried to break up the gang by firing shots into the crowd, Khan was stripped naked, dragged through the crowd and beaten, before being hanged.
Local groups began protesting on Wednesday, calling for justice to be served to the alleged rapist. The Hindustan Times newspaper reports that on Thursday the crowd "tore down two gates and took custody" of Khan, before dragging him to the town's landmark clock tower. According to police, Khan was a Bengali-speaking Muslim trader from the Assam state. Recently, tensions have been high between Bengali speakers, accused of being immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh, and local ethnic groups in North-East India..
This news comes as social agitation in India has been raised following the government's decision to ban the documentary entitled 'India's Daughter'. The film, which has sparked international debate, looks into the gang rape and murder of 23-year-old Jyoti Singh in Delhi in December of 2012. It includes an interview with one of the men convicted of her murder and sentenced to death, who appears to show no remorse for the crimes. During the interview, he implies that what happened to Singh was her own fault because she was out at night and fought back against her attackers.
The decision by the BBC to air the documentary has received outrage from the Indian government, who are now threatening to take action against the broadcaster. Exactly what action the country plans to take is unclear, the home minister Rajnath Singh has stated according to The Guardian, that "all options are open".
This is not a first for vigilante justice in India, however the scale of this most recent attack has made this a rare case.
The authorities have also imposed a curfew in Dimapur, following arson incidents in other parts of the city. #Society