A 22-year-old man in Uttar Pradesh's Pratapgarh district, 166 km from state capital Lucknow, was tied to a tree and burnt alive by his neighbors on Monday night. The neighbours in his village were reportedly angry over the man's alleged affair with a woman from their household.
Reports from the area say a number of men barged into the man's house at night, dragged him out and tied him to a tree, before setting him on fire.
A police team that got to the village after the incident was attacked; two vehicles and a motorcycle were set on fire and a few policemen were injured after being assaulted by a group of villagers who discovered the man's half-burnt body.
The man, who died, Ambika Prasad Patel, was reportedly in love with the woman for the last year. However, the woman's family was against this. Reports say she was selected as a constable with Uttar Pradesh Police a few months ago and had been posted in Kanpur. A few weeks ago, an intimate photo of the two of them was circulated on social media.
"The woman and her parents had blamed Ambika Patel for posting and circulating the photo on social media. A criminal case against Mr Patel had been filed by the woman for allegedly trying to 'outrage' her modesty. The same people, the neighbors are now accused of burning him alive," said Abhishek Singh, Pratapgarh's police chief.
Ambika Prasad Patel had gone to jail after this case was filed, but was released on parole on May 1. In March, the Uttar Pradesh government had decided to free 11,000 prisoners lodged in 71 jails in the state amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
The police say two men accused of the crime have been arrested so far; one of them is the girl's father. The half-burnt body of Mr Patel has been sent for autopsy. There is heavy police presence in the village.