A 52-year-old transgender woman was allegedly lynched to death by a mob in Hyderabad’s Chandrayangutta, suspecting her to be a child-lifter over rumours of a kidnapping gang on the prowl in Telangana on social media. Three others were also injured in the incident. Fifteen people were arrested in connection with the crime, Anjani Kumar, Hyderabad Commissioner of Police told ANI.
According to the police, the four had travelled to Hyderabad from Telangana’s Mahabubnagar district and were seeking alms in the area when local residents stopped them and started questioning them. The mob then attacked them and pelted stones at them.
“Chandraiah, a native of Mahabubnagar district, who was among the injured people, died undergoing treatment in the early hours of today. Based on video footage of the incident around 35 persons have been taken into custody,” Chandrayangutta police inspector Y Prakash Reddy said, adding that a case of murder has been registered against them.
The attack comes after several fake videos of a kidnapping gang thriving in the city were circulated on social media. In a similar incident, on May 22, a 42-year-old man was beaten to death by a group of villagers after they caught hold of him from a mango farm on suspicion of being a thief in Chengal village under Bheemgal police station limits of Nizamabad district. In another incident, a Councillor and two others were arrested for allegedly beating up and injuring a 27-year old mentally challenged man over rumours that he was a “thief” at Badangpet in Telangana.
Hyderabad Police appeals public not to believe and forward fake news
Alarmed by the growing incidents of fake news and mob killings, the Hyderabad Police has appealed to the public not to believe social media rumours on kidnappers and burglars. Warning general public not to take the law into their hands and cause harm to innocent individuals, the Telangana DGP M Mahender Reddy said stern action would be initiated against those spreading false news and forwarding such false messages on social media.
“Dear all, please don’t believe and share news that gangs from other states have entered into Telugu states (robbers and kidnappers) on your social media accounts. It is all fake. If you suspect someone, just dial 100 or share information with your local police via whatever means is available to you,” the Hyderabad police wrote on its Twitter handle.
— hyderabadpolice (@hydcitypolice) May 27, 2018
Meanwhile, two students were also arrested allegedly forwarding a fake video and audio about a kidnapping gang on social media. The two were found ‘responsible’ for circulating it through social media from their cell phones to provoke the public to attack people, mentally-challenged persons and beggars without verification, a release from Rachakonda police Commissionerate said.
(With inputs from PTI)