Bidar, July 15 :A 32-year-old software engineer was lynched to death and his three friends sustained critical injuries after an angry mob attacked them at Murki village in Karnataka’s Bidar over suspicion of being child-lifters.
This is the third such lynching incident in the state based on rumours of a child-kidnappers gang on the prowl spread on Whatsapp, the instant messaging app.
The police have arrested 32 people including the administrator of the WhatsApp group.
The deceased was identified as Mohammed Azam while those injured were Mohammed Salman , Mohammed Bashir and Akram. ALl were from Hyderabad and had gone out for a drive. On their way back they stopped on the roadside, where one of them, a Qatar national, offered chocolates to children around, said the police.
“Cousins were visiting us. They had gone out for a drive after lunch. My brother gave chocolates to children. We don’t know what their parents thought but several villagers gathered and beat them. How can they think they were kidnappers?” said Mohammad Azam’s brother.
Karnataka: 1 lynched, 2 injured by mob in Bidar on 13 July on suspicion of child theft. Their relative says 'My cousins went to Aurad for picnic, my brother gave chocolates to school children, we don’t know what their parents thought but several villagers gathered&assaulted them. pic.twitter.com/dB2aiTM2n4
— ANI (@ANI) July 15, 2018
At least 20 people were killed in 14 separate incidents between May and July 2018 in various parts of India. Though the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB) does not specifically track lynchings incidence.
The men tried to get away in their vehicle but the locals blocked the road to stop them from escaping. The locals dragged them out and started assaulting them. The local police heard of the incident and they rushed to the spot but were unable to control the angry mob