Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Arrests after India mob lynching over rumours



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

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration