WhatsApp asked to curb spread of false messages

WhatsApp asked to curb spread of false messages

Kerry Wise
July 4, 2018

In another incident in Tripura, a hawker from Uttar Pradesh was lynched and two others injured on June 28 at Murabari in West Tripura district after a mob attacked them on suspicion of being child-lifters.

With the lynching of five mendicants (bhikshus) on Sunday threatening to snowball into a controversy, the Maharashtra government on Monday announced a compensation of Rs 500,000 to the kin of each victim, and other assistance while at least 23 suspects were arrested.

The victims belonged to a nomadic community and had been passing through the village, police said.

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. Some minors were kicking and punching them and dragging them by the collar.

Warning: The video contains disturbing visuals.

The police say that a call was made between 10.45 am and 11.15 am to the police station.

"While the call was made it took time to mobilise the police party as numerous policemen were on leave".

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Police said that 15 people had been taken into custody in connection with the incident.

When the police reached the spot, all five men had succumbed to their injuries. When the team tried to pacify the mob, they thrashed the police too.

Minister of State for Home Deepak Kesarkar will be visiting the district tomorrow to review the situation, reported The Hindu. The police is yet to ascertain why the men had come to the village, but prima facie, they claim, it seems the men must have come to beg, since it was the weekly bazaar day. "We will be able to nab all those involved in the crime", an officer from the Pimpalner police said.

India has seen a string of mob attacks in the past few months ignited by messages circulated through social media that child-abduction gangs were active in villages and towns. 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.

Till now, there has not been a single ad on newspapers by the central government or state governments to create awareness on fake news.

In another case, a 65-year-old tourist Rukmini was lynched on May 8 by a 200 member-strong mob in Athimoor village in Polur, 25 kilometers from Tiruvannamalai district, after she was found distributing chocolates to children in the area. Now the fight against it has to start from the top.