Fake news on Whatsapp triggers lynching in India

Hapur Lynching

New Delhi , June 26: Fake news on Whatsapp, a popular messaging app and Facebook have become the cause of increasing number of lynching incidents in India. There have been many instances when false news has triggered violence and even exacerbated India’s rising religious and caste tensions.

The recent case of Kaluram Bachanram, who was beaten to death by a mob in Bangalore after WhastApp rumours convinced people that he was a child kidnapper.

In a horrifying video that has emerged on social media, the victim, Kaluram Bin Bachanram, 26, was covered in blood and had his hands tied by a rope. He was dragged on the road, followed by a mob of local residents who are seen beating him with cricket bats and rods.

Indians are falling for fake news which is circulated via social media and Whatsapp, a popular messaging app thus increasing violence between castes and religions.

Another mob lynching case happened in northeastern Assam where two men were beaten to death following rumours on social media that they were kidnappers.

Nilotpal Das and Abijeet Nath (30) who had gone to a picnic spot in the area to visit a waterfall and were attacked on their return in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district by a mob who accused them of being child abductors due to the rumnors cirvulated on Whatssap messages that the two were feleeing after kidnapping a child.

The British public broadcaster is set to highlight the issue of fake news firestorm… that has claimed eight lives in India in a report to be aired on BBC World News on Tuesday

Approximately there are 355 million Internet users in India. People instantly react to the rumours on social media, there are some instances which led to panic among the people. Fake messages that made the rounds in November, claimed that a newly released 2,000 rupee ban would contain a GPS tracking nano-chip that could locate bank notes hidden as far as 390 feet underground. Another rumour, about salt shortages, prompted a rush in many states.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked the Intelligence Bureau and State police forces to raise special units for deflating deceptions going viral.

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