Jharkhand child lifting rumours: Police have arrested two people Sourav Kumar and Shankar Gupta, a journalist, on Wednesday for allegedly spreading rumours which led to the lynching of seven people in two separate incidents in Bagbera and Rajnagar areas of Jharkhand on May 18 and 19. Police say that they are looking for a person named Sushil Kumar in connection with the case. The duo have been charged with spreading the message and creating panic in several villages, according to an Indian Express report.
Police officials told the Indian Express that Gupta, who works for a local cable news network, had only forwarded the post and has been granted bail in the case. Police officials said that it was Sourav Kumar who put out a post on a social media on May 11, stating that child lifters wee spotted in the area. Kumar’s post also mentioned the language these abductors spoke, the clothes they wore and the kind of items theses men carried. The officials said that the post stated that child lifters were allegedly spotted and thrashed by people in Jadugora.
DSP Vimal Kumar told the Indian Express that, ”The social media post was shared by a man named Sushil Kumar on WhatsApp on a group called Zila News, the message was then shared by various people on different groups”. DSP Kumar added that the probe has revealed that the incidents mentioned in the post never took place. Nonetheless, people took the messages seriously and started keeping a vigil.
Binod Kesri, the administrator of one such group called News Raftaar, told the Indian Express that the intention was not to spread panic. Kesri added, ”Many police officers are members of these groups, why is no action taken against them”. Kesri was quizzed by the police as he is the administrator of many such groups. Anoop T Matthews, SSP East Singhbhum, told the Indian Express that the probe revealed that the message was generated by Sourav Kumar and circulated by Agarwal. Matthews added that the police did not act when the messages were first spread as too much importance was not given to them.
According to Indian Express, 43 people have been arrested in connection with the violence.