A 28-year-old man was murdered in Punjab’s Jalandhar on Thursday, allegedly by the henchmen of liquor mafia for objecting to the sale of illicit alcohol in his colony.

Eyewitnesses say the victim, Manish Luthra, and his friends had an altercation with the henchmen of the liquor mafia in his colony Janak Nagar, but soon they were outnumbered.

Mr Luthra was caught by the henchmen and brutally attacked with knives and sharp-edged weapons, say eyewitnesses. He was admitted to hospital with several injuries and died on Thursday morning.

Amit Kumar, a friend of the victim, said that the liquor mafia was influencing the young boys of the locality to which Mr Luthra had objected.”Those behind the killing had challenged us to report their activities to the police, they were confident that cops won’t act,” claimed Mr Kumar.

But the police has claimed it was a brawl over eve-teasing. Although, Assistant Commissioner of Police DS Bhuttar admitted, “We have booked Ujagar Singh and two of his accomplices, they are involved in illicit liquor trade, they will soon be arrested.”

This is second case of murder in three days which illicit liquor mafia is involved. On Monday, a 20-year-old Dalit man was brutally murdered in Abohar for allegedly reporting activities of the mafia to authorised liquor dealers. Cops have arrested three people including two relatives of an Akali sarpanch in the case.