Police rescue family of five attacked over child-lifting suspicion in Malegaon

10 Arrested In Maharashtra For Lynching 5 Men Suspected To Be Child Lifters

10 Arrested In Maharashtra For Lynching 5 Men Suspected To Be Child Lifters

Despite attempts by the police to counter them, incidents of lynchings resulting from such rumours continue.

Barely 10 hours after five people were lynched in Maharashtra's Dhule on suspicion of child-lifting, five persons, including a two-year-old boy and two women, were attacked by a mob in Malegaon in neighbouring Nashik district after rumours on social media that they were trying to kidnap a child.

Dhule Superintendent of Police M Ramkumar said: "We have also identified some more accused in this case".

A video of the lynching, recorded either by a perpetrator or a bystander, has been widely circulated on social media.

"Five were killed in the mob fury", police said. "However, a tragedy was averted after some citizens informed the police about the incident, following which a police team rushed to the spot and pacified the people", he added. They were identified as Dadarao Shankar Bhosale, Bharat Shankar Bhosale, Raju Bhosale and Bharat Malve of Khave village and Anagu Ingole of Manewadi village - both located in the Mangalvede tehsil of Solapur.

When one of them apparently tried to speak to a girl child, the villagers, who had gathered for the weekly Sunday market, pounced on them, they said.

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This led to rumours that they could be child-kidnappers and a large number of villagers attacked them with sticks, stones and bricks near the Gram Panchayat office.

An official at the Pimpalner police station said that the five people died after being assaulted. Strong action will be taken.

Minister of State for Home Deepak Kesarkar will be visiting the district tomorrow to review the situation, reported The Hindu.

In Tamil Nadu state, where a string of violent incidents has been reported in recent months, authorities have begun awareness drives to counter the rumours.

Director General of Police Datta Padsalgikar on Monday issued a stern warning that anybody found indulging indulging in such aggressive behaviour could face murder/attempt to charges and appealed to all people not to become victims of unverified messages/rumours on social media, but report them to police for investigations and action.

In the last few days, the Facebook-owned WhatsApp has given group administrators control over which members can post messages.

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