In another case of mob violence, five people were lynched in Dhule district of Maharashtra on suspicion of being ‘child lifters’ on July 1. The incident took place in the tribal hamlet of Rainpada in Sakri taluka, about 325 km from Mumbai.
The mob of 30-35 people also comprised children. The five victims, along with other friends were seen getting down from a state transport bus, the police said. After getting down, one of the victims was seen talking to a little girl, when villagers, gathered for their Sunday market, mistook them to be kidnappers and pounced on them. 23 people have been arrested in connection with the crime.
“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. All have been booked under Section 302 (murder) and the sections pertaining to rioting of the IPC.
The police say that the victims were nomads, who were there in the village seeking alms. Video clips show that the mob beat them with slippers and sticks. Some minors were kicking and punching them and dragging them by the collar.
One of the victims was seen pleading for help in the video, while the bloodied bodies of the other victims were lying beside him. The person shooting the video can be heard warning the victim, “tujhe marega phirse (I will hit you again).”
Mob injures police
The police say that a call was made between 10.45 am and 11.15 am to the police station. By 12:10 pm a team of 10 policemen was sent to the spot.
“While the call was made it took time to mobilise the police party as many of the policemen were on leave. A team left by noon, but since the hamlet is deep inside a jungle area, about 30 kms from the police station, with bad road connectivity, it took the team about an hour to reach the spot,” the police told The Indian Express.
By the time the police reached, five lifeless bodies were lying in front of the panchayat office. When the team tried to pacify the mob, they thrashed the police too. Five policemen were admitted to a local civic hospital as they sustained injuries.
Minister of State for Home Deepak Kesarkar will be visiting the district tomorrow to review the situation, reported The Hindu.
“As per primary information, all the four persons from Solapur belong to the Davari Gosavi community, which is basically a nomadic community. People from this community have very small landholdings and they traditionally seek alms as they go from village to village. We believe that had gone to Dhule for the same purpose when they were attacked,” said an officer from Mangalwedha police station in Solapur.
The Logical Indian Take
Five people have been lynched on suspicion of being child kidnappers. The killings have been linked to WhatsApp and social media. Till now the conversations have been around how individuals shouldn’t fall prey to fake videos being circulated and how barbaric and gullible those are who are involved in these lynchings.
But nobody has talked about government’s irresponsibility and apathy on the issue of fake news. Not a single political representative at central level including opposition leader has talked about the issue of fake news and the harm it is causing.
Till now, there has not been a single ad on newspapers by the central government or state governments to create awareness on fake news. They don’t see any incentive in saving people’s lives. Fake news is a crisis now and mob lynching endemic. Now the fight against it has to start from the top.
Uttar Pradesh: June 18, one lynched & one critically injured
Jharkhand: June 13, two lynched
Assam: June 8, two lynched
Maharashtra: June 8, two lynched & seven injured
Karnataka: May 23, one lynched
Madhya Pradesh: May 19, two lynched
Tamil Nadu: May 9, one lynched