Friday, 22 February, 2019

Mob lynching in Tripura, hawker killed because of suspicion over child lifting

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Sherri Watson | 02 July, 2018, 13:44

They later said he could have been killed for "other reasons" that were being probed.

On Wednesday evening, a mentally-challenged man was thrashed and left with serious injuries by a mob over similar child-lifting and organ trafficking rumours in Agartala.

Messages on WhatsApp saying gangs of child kidnappers are at large have sparked a number of attacks on innocent people in the last few months.

A hawker was lynched by a mob inside Tripura State Rifles camp at Murabari in Mohanpur subdivision of West district, 30km from here, on Thursday. "Our teams reached on the spot and could only rescue the driver", Das said.

Reports suggest that the mob attacked the three people Jahir Khan, Gulzar Ahmed Khan and Khurshid Khan because of rumours of them being child-lifters.

In view of rumour-mongering, director-general of police Akhil Kumar Shukla issued a notification on Thursday, suspending all SMS and Internet services for the next 48 hours.

Locals in Sabroom, about 80 miles from the state capital, Agartala, attacked "rumour buster" Sukanta Chakraborty with sticks and bricks as he was warning people on a megaphone against erroneous rumours. "However, almost a thousand agitated people chased them and entered the camp, and lynched one of the hawkers", Das said. The injured are said to be in a critical condition. Photographs of the aftermath showed the men's badly dented van with its windows smashed and the doors yanked open.

The woman in her 40s was beaten with batons and dragged across the village as tribal residents chanted "death to child lifters", police said.

No arrests had been made in the cases but authorities said they were questioning several suspects.

Amid reports of clashes between locals and the police over the incident, chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb took to social media to debunk the rumours, and claimed that the kidneys and other organs of the boy were found intact, citing the autopsy report.

The current spate of killings started past year in May in eastern Jharkhand state after rumours on WhatsApp about child kidnappers led to the lynching of six men. The lynching has angered the social media, and people are now raising their voice against atrocity committed by the people even without any evidence that the men really were child lifters.