A man was lynched to death, while three others were badly hurt, by an angry mob of villagers in Murki village in Aurad taluk of Bidar, Karnataka on Friday, media reports said. Not unlike other such incidents reported from a few other states in recent times, the mob descended on the four men over the suspicion that they were planning to kidnap the village children.
In a video that has since gone viral, a mob can be seen surrounding the four men and later dragging them out of their overturned vehicle. A policeman can also be seen pleading with the mob to not hurt the men.
This was the third such incident in the state. The four men were taken to the local hospital, where one man was declared brought dead while three others are reportedly critical and are undergoing treatment. The police have detained 30 villagers so far at the Kamalnagar police station in the case.
The deceased was identified as Mohammed Azam while those injured were called Talha Ismail, Mohammed Salman and Mohammed Bashir. Azam, Ismail and Salman hailed from Hyderabad, while Bashir was a native of Handikera village in the Aurad taluk. Bashir, who worked in Hyderabad, had invited the other three to his home and they were travelling to Handikera in a car when the incident took place, The Hindu reported.
The group decided to stop for some refreshments at a shop near Balkut Tanda, where they came across some school children. One of the men offered the kids some sweets, after which the locals assumed that they were trying to abduct the children.
NewsX reported that the men tried to get away in their vehicle but the locals blocked the road to stop them from escaping. Following this, the locals dragged them out and started pelting stones. The local police heard of the incident and a handful of policemen rushed to the spot but were unable to control the angry mob. They could finally extricate them. Azam had reportedly died on the spot while other three were taken to the hospital for treatment.
News reports suggest that there has been a steep rise in such incidents of mob violence, spurred by rumours which often turn out to be false. A PTI report said that at least 20 people were killed in 14 separate incidents between May and July 2018 in various parts of India. Though the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB) does not specifically track lynchings, the incidence of mob killings and vigilantism has been on the rise.
A more recent incident is from 1 July when five men were killed in a similar incident in Maharashtra's Dhule, where the police have said that the Whatsapp forwards that incited the attack were manipulated. According to reports, the video was made in Karachi, Pakistan, and was meant to be a promotional video on child safety. It was soon edited and spliced to trigger panic about child-lifters on the prowl, and it was made to go viral on social media platforms and WhatsApp.
On 2 July, a similar incident was reported from Chennai where two men were thrashed by a group of people over suspicion that they were trying to kidnap a child. The two men, who worked as labourers with the Chennai Metro, were thrashed when they tried to stop a child from crossing a busy road as a bystander suspected them to be child-lifters.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jul 14, 2018 17:56:30 IST