Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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42 Charged Over Lynching Of Rape Suspect In India

Dozens of people have been arrested and charged Monday in connection to the lynching of a jailed rapist in India, who was pulled out of prison by an angry mob.

Police said 42 people are facing charges of rioting, arson and unlawful assembly following the death of rapist Syed Sharif Khan. 

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However, authorities are still trying to find out if the suspects now in police custody were directly involved in murdering Khan.

"Some of these 42 arrested men were also directly involved in the lynching, and will face additional charges," Inspector General of Police Wabang Jamir said.

Thousands of people trooped to the prison on Thursday and specifically took Khan out.

 He was stripped off his clothes, beaten and lugged through the streets before being hanged in the city of Dimapur, Nagaland state.

Khan was arrested in February after being accused of repeatedly raping a 19-year-old tribal woman, said to be his relative.

The lynching happened amid the government's controversial decision to ban the airing of the documentary 'India's Daughter" that talks about the 2012 gang rape of a student in Delhi. 

The Indian government said the documentary had objectionable content and, if shown, may spark public outrage.

But aside from the "India's Daughter" ban, observers say the murder of Khan was also linked to the rising ethnic tensions in the Nagaland state, with tribes from neighboring Assam state and Bangladesh immigrating on their lands. 

Khan was a Bengali-speaking Muslim trader from the state of Assam.

The lynching clearly showed that law and order in Nagaland was a failure and tribal insurgency was continuously growing.

Police said they are looking into more people possibly behind the attack after photos and videos were posted on social media networks.

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