The lynching took place in the town’s New Town area around 1pm on Thursday, said Netrokona Model Police OC Tajul Islam.
The dead man was identified as 22-year-old Robin, a rickshaw-puller by trade.
He was carrying the remains of an eight-year-old boy named Shojib in the town’s Katli area.
Robin was trying to flee after chopping off the head of the child and packing it in a bag, claimed some locals. He was then chased by residents of the area.
“The youth died immediately after being beaten up by the angry public in New Town area. Police later recovered the child’s head and the man’s body from the area,” said OC Tajul.
The body of the child could not be recovered, said Ashraful Alam, the district’s superintendent of police.
“The body of the man has been sent to Netrokona Modern Sadar Hospital’s morgue for an autopsy. The matter is being investigated.”
OC Tajul said, “This has nothing to do with the rumours of human heads being needed for the construction of Padma Bridge. We have found out that the deceased youth was a drug addict. We are trying to find out the motive behind the incident.”