Stop These Murders; 5 Lynched in M’shtra Over Rumours

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Social media was used for spreading false rumours that led to lynching of 5 in M’shtra.

It is high time that the governments across India step up efforts to stop lynching of innocent men and women on rumours spread on social media. WhatsApp must be made responsible for such horrific incidents that has put India in shame. Is this the India that plans to go to 2020 as a superpower?

In an unending spiral of mob violence triggered by social media posts, five people were lynched in Dhule district of Maharashtra on Sunday morning over suspicion that they were part of a gang of “child lifters.”

The incident took place in the tribal hamlet of Rainpada in Sakri taluka, about 325 km from Mumbai. The frenzy mob reportedly comprised over 35 people, including some children.

According to reports, the five victims were seen alighting from state transport bus. One of them tried to speak to a girl child and this was enough `evidence’ for villagers, who had gathered for the weekly Sunday market, to pounce on them and lynch them.

“The accused hail from a tribal village where WhatsApp posts pertaining to child kidnappers had gone viral. Based on the posts, the mob suspected the victims to be child lifters and thrashed them to death,” M Ramkumar, Superintendent of Police, Dhule, told The Indian Express.

“The victims were nomads who had come to seek alms at the weekly bazaar,” he said. A case has been registered against 35 people, of which 12 — all residents of Rainpada village — have been named. All have been booked under Section 302 (murder) and sections pertaining to rioting of the IPC. “We have registered a case. Of the 12 named, most of them will be formally arrested by night,” said Ramkumar.

Like the other lynching cases recently reported across the country, in this case too, the villagers attacked the victims based on WhatsApp posts that were being circulating in the village claiming that a group of child kidnappers were on the loose.

Video clips of the incident showed the victims being thrashed with slippers, before being dragged to the local panchayat office, where they were beaten up with sticks. Some minors can also be seen punching, kicking and dragging the victims by their collars.

In one video clip, a victim can be seen pleading for help, while the bloodied bodies of the other four victims are lying on the floor. The person shooting the video can be heard warning the victim, “tujhe marega phirse (I will hit you again)”.

Earlier, three people were lynched in a day over ‘child-lifting’ in Tripura. There have been cases of lynching from other states too – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Also read: Time to control Whatsapp Fake Forward Factory