Karnataka, Telangana: Four killed after child-lifting rumours fuel panic on social media

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New Delhi | Published: May 25, 2018 11:27:41 AM

Suspicions of child lifting fuelled by fake videos circulated widely on the social media platform has led to four people being lynched to death.

child trafficking, child trafficking in india, child traffick deaths, child traffic fatalities, child traffickThe incident comes after fake videos claiming childlifters on prowl made its way to social media platforms. (Representative image)

Suspicions of child lifting fuelled by fake videos circulated widely on the social media platform has led to four people being lynched to death in separated incidents in Telangana and Karnataka. The incident comes after fake videos claiming childlifters on prowl made its way to social media platforms triggering panic among residents. The development comes after at least five people lost their lives in Tamil Nadu in the last one month in a similar fashion.

On Thursday, the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Director Generals of Police issued warning of strict action against those who indulge in attacking anyone on suspicion of being a child trafficker, Times Of India reported. While two people were reported to have been lynched in Jiyapali and Nizamabad in Telangana on Tuesday , nine others have also been injured in Guntur, Chittoor and Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh.

“Despite creating awareness among people not to believe such rumours and inform police on finding anyone suspicious, people are taking the law into their hands,” a police official was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

Telangana DGP M Mahender Reddy and Andhra Pradesh DGP M Malakondaiah have appealed to people not to take the law into their hands. “We will take stringent action against such people. These are rumours that gangs of child kidnappers are moving in the state, don’t believe them. Don’t beat up people,’’ Malakondaiah said.

As per officials, two among four assaulted in Guntur are in a critical condition. “Instead of taking the law into your hands, inform police. Police is with you, you are safe,” Telangana DGP Reddy had said in his appeal. Even as police are conducting awareness campaigns, villagers have formed groups to keep vigil. “If they encounter anyone who is new to their area or is not giving proper answers, they are beating them up. Beggars, migrant workers, who cannot speak the local language, have been attacked,” an Andhra Pradesh police officer told IE.

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