The incident happened on a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned against mob attacks on cattle traders, beef-eaters and dairy farmers, saying killing people in the name of protecting cows is unacceptable.
Police said they "rescued" trader Alimuddin aka Asgar Ali from the attackers and he died in hospital.
"Though injured, he was walking then. I think he died of shock," Ramgarh sub-divisional police officer Shashi Prakash said.
This is the second attack this June by cow vigilantes in Jharkhand as a 200-strong mob thrashed a 55-year-old Muslim dairy owner and set his house ablaze after a cow carcass was found near his home in Giridih district on Tuesday.
In May, people lynched four Muslim cattle traders at a village in Saraikelka Kharswan district after calling them child traffickers.
Such attacks waged by so-called cow vigilantes in India have targeted mostly Muslims. Cows are considered sacred by many Hindus, and slaughtering cattle or eating beef is illegal or restricted across much of the country.
This is the second attack this June by cow vigilantes in Jharkhand as a 200-strong mob thrashed a 55-year-old Muslim dairy owner and set his house ablaze after a cow carcass was found near his home in Giridih district.
Ali of Monua village in Ramgarh district, nearly 50km from Ranchi, was allegedly carrying four sacks of meat weighing around 200kg. The mob intercepted him at Bazartand, pulled him out of the van, and thrashed him.
Police arrived in 30 minutes and took him to Sadar hospital, Ramgarh, where he was referred to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi. Ali died minutes after he was admitted to the bigger hospital.
Jharkhand police spokesperson RK Mallick said Thursday's murder could be the result of a professional rivalry.
"Ali had a criminal record, and was an accused in the kidnapping and murder of a child. He traded in beef and had been getting calls for ransom from his business rivals and local criminals. Still, that does not give anyone the licence to kill him. We will arrest the killers soon," he said.
Security was beefed up in Ramgarh to check any flare-up as the district is communally sensitive.
The chief minister's office refused comments. But opposition parties criticised the BJP government for rise in mob attacks by self-styled cow protectors.
State Congress chief Sukhdeo Bhagat alleged the mobs have the government's clandestine support.
"This can be judged by the uncaring approach of the chief minister, who neither visited nor met any family of the victims in the state till date," he said.