A man was lynched to death by residents in Charafkira union of Naokhali's Companiganj upazila in the early hours on Wednesday on suspicion of being a cattle thief, reports news agency UNB.

The identity of the deceased could not be known immediately, police said.

A gang of thieves swooped on the cowsheds of Zakir Hossain and Noor Uddin in the Arjuntala area of the upazila around 3.30am, district superintendent of police (SP) Mohammad Shahidul Islam said.

"Sensing the presence of the thieves, local people surrounded them and caught one of them while the others managed to flee. Later, the detainee was beaten to death by the villagers,” SP Shahidul Islam added.

The body was recovered by police and sent to the Noakhali General Hospital morgue for an autopsy.

"Additional police force has been deployed in the area to avert further trouble," he said.