BJP MLA from Aurad, Prabhu Chavan, has come out in support of the mob which attacked and killed Mohammad Azam Usmansab (28) from Hyderabad, suspecting him and his three friends to be child-abductors. Chavan, claims that Usmansab died due to an accident and not because of lynching. The incident took place in Bidar, Karnataka on Friday when four people were travelling to a local lake and took a halt near a hamlet. Here, they distributed chocolates to some local kids.
According to The New Indian Express, Chavan, during his visit to Handikere, said, “The youth was not lynched but died of injuries he received when the car overturned. The four from Hyderabad were child-kidnappers, and I am 100 per cent sure about it.”
He added, “I have spoken to many people in the tanda (a hamlet) where the four stopped their car and tried to kidnap children by offering chocolates. I want the police to investigate the incident seriously and release those arrested immediately as they are all innocent.”
Mohammed Azam was a software engineer at Google, and a father of a two-year-old. This is the second case of mob killing in the state, with at least 20 dead in the country since May 2018 due to fake rumours being spread on social media.
34 people have been arrested for attacking and killing Usmansaab. This includes two Whats App group administrators, Biradar and Patil.
“Manoj Patil’s provocative message caused the lynching. Patil, a farmer who also does construction work, is the administrator of half-a-dozen WhatsApp groups. He sent this provocative message — that these men are child kidnappers and should not be spared — to WhatsApp groups in Murki and surrounding villages, which triggered the chase and the attack on the men. His message instigated the attack,’’ said Dilip Sagar, Circle Police Inspector (CPI) of Kamalnagar Circle, as reported by Indian Express.
Inspector Sagar told how the enraged crowd of 400-500 people was attacking the victims with sticks and stones. When the police tried to intervene, the mob attacked them too, resulting in injuries to policemen. “The mob was baying for blood and it was scary and unnerving for us too, as we feared for our lives. I begged and pleaded with the people to let them go. I explained they were not child-lifters but they were not in a mood to listen. They were in a frenzy and just wanted to kill them. Our priority was to evacuate the victims and rush them to hospital, so we tried to pacify the mob. We managed to save the remaining three men from being killed,’’ he said.
Police are trying to track more people who were involved. They are tracking the whereabouts of the attackers using the CCTV footage of the time of mob attack. However, the whole area is kept under massive police surveillance.
Mohammad Salman Alinur, Talha Ismail Qureshi and Noor Mohammad Sadiq who were also attacked, are now out of danger and being treated in a private hospital in Hyderabad. The investigation by the Kamalnagar Police Station is still ongoing.
The Logical Indian Take
This comes barely weeks after Union Minister Jayant Sinha welcomed lynching accused with garlands in a separate incident. This kind of behaviour by elected representatives is highly disturbing as it gives legitimacy to mob-justice.
We need stringent punishments against those who resort to such acts of violence. To uphold the safety of citizens, law and order need to be established. In the meanwhile, people from all strata of life need to be educated and made aware of the evils of believing in fake news resorting to violence.