Two persons were rescued in Manipur after being assaulted in separate incidents by local residents who suspected them to be child-lifters, police said on Wednesday, even as fake news about the two being cannibals was circulated both on social media and sections of mainstream media.
The two — a local from Imphal (West) district and an outsider whose identity was yet to be ascertained — were assaulted in two villages around 12 km apart in Kangpokpi district on Tuesday and are being treated at a local hospital.
Sections of the media reported that “two people from Assam were arrested in Manipur over charges of cannibalism”.
The police said the two appeared to be mentally unsound. “This is completely false news. There is no cannibalism involved. The two appear to be mentally unsound but they are not cannibals,” Kangpokpi SP Hemant Pandey told The Indian Express over phone.
A psychiatric test would be conducted on the two on Thursday and they are in preventive custody, the police said. The second person is unable to properly identify himself.
“There is no missing person report of any child in this district for the last three months,” Pandey said. He said rumours about child-abductors were doing the rounds in the district for over a month now.