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Five lynched in Maharashtra’s Dhule district on suspicion of being child lifters

Posted July 2nd, 2018, 10:10 AM IST

Five lynched in Maharashtra’s Dhule district on suspicion of being child lifters

Mumbai: In yet another incident of mob violence, five men were lynched to death on suspicion of being child-lifters in the tribal-dominated Rainpada village of Dhule in Maharashtra.

The police said that the five victims had been seen getting off a state transport bus and, later, when one of them attempted to strike a conversation with a girl child, it alarmed locals who were present for the weekly ‘Sunday bazaar’.

The locals pounced on the victims, thrashing them on the suspicion that they were child-lifters, the police said. The five persons were later herded to a room where they were beaten to death with sticks.

According to the police, the area was rife with rumours for the last few days that a gang of child-lifters was active in the area. The victims’ bodies were taken to the nearby Pimpalner hospital for autopsy.

The police said that the victims could have arrived in Dhule from Solapur and their identities are being ascertained. The police have nabbed 15 residents of Rainpada village in connection with the five killings. M. Ramkumar, Dhule’s superintendent of police, said that the residents of the village —around 250 of them —left the village after the killings. Deepak Kesarkar, minister of state (home), Maharashtra, said, “I appeal to everyone not to believe in such messages that are circulated on social media. The law should not be taken into ones own hands.”

Senior Maharashtra police officers have since appealed to the public that there is a need to spread awareness about rumours being spread by mischievous elements to create panic among masses about a group of people moving and trying to commit crimes like kidnapping of children for begging, organ harvesting, etc. All district SPs have been instructed to take adequate precautions to prevent such incidents and are trying to zero in on the source of such rumours.

Last month, in a similar incident, a woman fell prey to mob fury at Aurangabad district. She was beaten up by the mob on suspicion that she was a child-lifter. The police had to rescue her and subsequently recorded her statement.