The Thane police has launched a manhunt for four villagers who allegedly thrashed to death a youth caught in the wee hours today, after they mistook him to be a thief, in Kalyan's Umbarde locality, the police said.
Giving details of the incident, police inspector R R Patil of the Bazarpeth police station in Kalyan said that it was around 4 am, when an unknown person aged around 22 years knocked the doors of the residence of one Wankhede in the residential locality of Umbarde.
Wankhede's wife Sulabha opened the door and screamed "Help, thief", which woke up some of those around who caught hold of the youth, after which the locals tied him to an iron pole, allegedly lynching him with sharp and blunt objects, killing him on the spot.
Assistant sub inspector Sachin Shirke registered an offence under Sections 302 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against Sadanand Wankhede, Dinesh Bhagat, Manu Paswan and Sonu Misar who were allegedly involved.
The youth's body has been sent for post mortem, while a manhunt is on for his killers, the police said.
Police inspector G S Tayde of the Bazarpeth police station is investigating the case, the police said.