GAYA: Three people were beaten up by a mob in Bihar's Gaya district on suspicion of being child-lifters, police said.
The incident took place near Maher village late on Sunday when the trio attempted to flee the village after an alleged illegal hunting session.
The three persons all in their 30s and residents of Gaya town caused a flutter in the village by firing a shot, Tankuppa police station SHO Vikas Chandra said.
"They were accompanied by a 12-year-old boy from their locality in Gaya. On seeing agitated villagers rushing towards them, they panicked and started fleeing in their car. This led to rumours that the three persons were running away after abducting the child," Chandra said.
The officer said the car overturned during the trio and the child's attempt to flee, causing minor injuries.
Added to that, the villagers started beating up the three persons and stopped only when the child said he was related to them, the SHO said.
The trio was rushed to a hospital and their condition is stated to be stable.
Four dead birds, an airgun and some cartridges were found in the car, Chandra said.
He said the seized items have been handed over to the forest department, who will initiate proceedings against the trio.
An FIR has also been booked against unknown persons for taking law into their hands, he said.
Gaya SSP Rajeev Mishra said a search is on to identify and nab the attackers.