A man in his mid-40s was lynched by a mob on suspicion of being a child-lifter, the police have said. The incident was reported in Mendrakala village under Ambikapur police station area of Chhattisgarh’s Surguja district. The police arrested nine people on the basis of video evidence. The identity of the victim is yet to be established.
According to the police, the man was caught by villagers on Friday morning. Suspecting him to be a child-lifter, with such rumours circulating over the last few days in the area, they questioned him. He was apparently not able to explain his identity, following which he was beaten up. The act was also recorded on mobile phones and the video clips went viral. The videos show people asking the victim about his whereabouts and the man not being able to explain it.
The body was found under a small bridge in Manipur police outpost area, around 13 km from district headquarters. Surguja SP Sadanand said: “We have arrested nine people on the basis of video evidence. We are trying to establish the identity of the victim. Prima facie, the incident was a result of rumours of child-lifters in the area.”
City SP (Ambikapur) R N Yadav said: “There have been rumours regarding child-lifters. The police have been going to villages to tell people there is no such threat. The victim could have been a destitute or may have been suffering from mental issues.” “A day before the incident, a meeting was held in the same village and residents were made aware that they should not believe such rumours,” said Yadav.
Rumours of child-lifters being on the prowl have led to lynchings in several parts of the country since last year.
While last year, seven people were killed in two incidents in Jamshedpur and Seraikela Kharsawan districts in Jharkhand, this year two persons were lynched in Assam.