Army and police personnel rescued three ‘sadhus’ from getting lynched by a furious mob, which suspected them to be child-lifters. The incident took place at Mahur railway station in Dima Hasao district of Assam, officials said on Friday.

The priests, who belong to Uttar Pradesh, were in Assam’s Mahur town on Thursday. According to media reports, they were attacked as soon as they reached Mahur railway station in their car.

These people had gathered in the wake of rumours of child-lifting in the area. District officials said Army men posted at an adjacent camp and police officers came to the rescue of the three persons just in time.

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The belongings of the ‘sadhus’ were thrown open by the mob, videographed and shared on social media, further fuelling the hearsays, said the officials.

Armymen took the victims with them to the camp for questioning and later handed them over to the police.

Following the incident, the district administration called for an emergency meeting on Thursday which was chaired by Deputy Commissioner Amitabh Rajkhowa and Superintendent of Police Prasanta Saikia.

Representatives of different communities who attended the meeting, appealed to the public, especially the people of Dima Hasao, to act responsibly and not be swayed by rumours on social media.

In a separate incident at Haflong, locals attacked three “strangers” after suspecting them to be child-lifters. The victims were rescued by the police.

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In the last few weeks, there have been several attempts by the district administration to make people aware about news circulating on social media without any base or authenticity, the officials said.

In a similar incident on June 8, two friends, who had gone to a picnic spot in Karbi Anglong, were stopped on their way back by a group of villagers and lynched on the suspicion of being child-lifters.

(With PTI inputs)