Two Tanzanian women were locked up inside their homes in Dwarka’s Hari Nagar on Thursday evening after a mob gathered outside, following rumours of child kidnapping, police said. Two Nigerian men living nearby were also rescued after they, too, were locked inside their home by locals. The two women had made frantic calls to the PCR, while the men were rescued during police patrolling of the area later at night.
DCP (Dwarka) Anto Alphonse said, “We first rescued the women within 10 minutes of their PCR call. Later, the two other men were rescued. We assured them of their safety and also found that one of them was living on an expired visa, so as per the law, we’ve also begun his deportation.” According to a police officer, the foreign nationals were later sent away with members of an association of African nationals in India.
According to police, the child kidnapping rumour spread through “word of mouth, and soon people gathered outside the homes of the foreign nationals”. Police did not disclose their identities due to safety reasons. “The foreign nationals made frantic calls to police — five between 6:57 pm and 7:38 pm — about an altercation. A call was made at 7:40 pm by a local woman alleging that her 16-year-old son had been kidnapped by two Nigerian men, which was false. An entire platoon of reserve force was deputed to manage the crowd and rescue the foreigners,” an officer said, maintaining that the child kidnapping rumours were fake.
Meanwhile at the Hari Nagar neighbourhood, the rumour took some time to settle down. “We came to know from people around that a 16-year-old child had been kidnapped by Africans, as the child’s relative came looking for him from Haryana. I haven’t seen the child, but it was sheer chaos yesterday,” said Binita Devi (45), who lives behind the house taken on rent by the foreigners.
With PTI inputs