Arrests after India mob lynching over rumours

Arrests after India mob lynching over rumours

Indian police said on Sunday that they have arrested 25 people after a man was killed by a mob in the country’s latest lynching over the suspicion of child kidnapping sparked by rumours on WhatsApp.

The men were arrested over the murder of 27-year-old Mohammad Azam who was attacked along with two friends by a 2,000-strong mob in southern Karnataka state’s Bidar district late on Friday.

Azam’s friends were critically injured in the assault that came days after the Facebook-owned messaging service published advertisements in Indian newspapers offering tips to curb the spread of fake information on its platform.

More than 20 people have been lynched in India after being accused of child abduction in the last two months, according to media reports.

Police said Azam and his companions were returning to neighbouring Hyderabad city after visiting their friend in Bidar when they stopped midway and offered chocolates to local children.

“One of them had bought chocolates from Qatar and tried to offer it to the children as a token of affection,” Bidar deputy police chief VN Patil said.

But one among the group of children started crying, alerting the elders who accused the men of being child kidnappers amid rife social media rumours about child kidnapping rings in the area, the officer said.

Patil said the three managed to flee from the spot but were attacked by a much larger mob a few kilometres ahead after locals alerted nearby villages via WhatsApp.

Their car flipped after hitting a roadblock placed by the angry mob before they were dragged out of the vehicle and beaten with sticks and stones.

Three policemen were injured in rescue attempts as the mob rampaged for nearly an hour.

The attack comes after five people were lynched by a mob in neighbouring Maharashtra state on July 1.

The mob had spotted the victims talking to a child at a market, triggering allegations of child abduction.

The spate of lynchings started last May in eastern Jharkhand state after rumours on WhatsApp about child kidnappers led to the lynching of seven men.

The rumours have since resurfaced, with 21 deaths reported in dozens of attacks across the country mostly targeting non-locals.

India accused Whatsapp of failing to curb false information on its platform.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said