Three people, including a mentally-challenged man, were assaulted in separate incidents of mob violence in Uttar Pradesh in the past 24 hours on the suspicion that they were child-lifters.
This comes after UP DGP O P Singh on Wednesday appealed to people to not pay heed to rumours and not indulge in violence due to rumours of child lifting. The DGP had also directed SPs of all districts to take strict action in such cases and to invoke the National Security Act (NSA) against those involved.
A 25-year-old mentally challenged man was assaulted by people of Dhanori village in Swar police station area of Rampur district after they suspected him to be a child-lifter.
“The victim, Hasan Ali, is deaf and mute and mentally challenged. On Wednesday, he ventured out of Khainpur village where he lives and reached Dhanori. People there did not recognise him and suspected him to be a child-lifter. A rumour spread and a crowd of 70-odd people gathered and assaulted him. He has suffered serious injuries, but is out of danger and is at a hospital,” said SHO, Swar police station, Satendra Kumar.
Kumar said they have lodged an FIR under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 307 (attempt to murder). “We have arrested seven people and are searching for seven others named in the FIR. Hasan’s father Naame Ali, a farmer, named 14 people in his complaint,” Kumar said.
Asked if NSA has been invoked, SHO Kumar said, “Not yet. We will see if it needs to be invoked after the primary probe.”
In another incident at Shakuapur village in Ibrahimpur in Ambedkar Nagar district, two people were assaulted after local residents suspected one of them to be a child-lifter.
SHO, Ibrahimpur police station, Sanjay Kumar Singh said, “At 8 am on Thursday, a youth named Pawan (18) was seen talking to minor girl. The girl was crying after being rebuked by her mother and Pawan asked her if she is fine. Some people working on a field nearby mistook him for a child-lifter. Pawan was surrounded by a mob of 40-50 people and assaulted. The people assaulting him then called Shrawan (26), at whose house Pawan lives on rent, and asked him about Pawan. While he was talking to the mob, they started assaulting him too,” said the SHO.
Singh said that after receiving a call, police reached the spot and rescued the youths, both of whom work as drivers. “They have sustained injuries. We have arrested three accused named in the FIR and are trying to identify the others.”
Police have lodged an FIR under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation).
SP, Ambedkar Nagar, Virendra Kumar Mishra, said the NSA had not been invoked yet against the accused.