Days after two men were lynched to death in Assam over suspicion of they being child-lifters, another near-similar case has come to light from Aurangabad district in Maharashtra. The said incident had taken place on June 8, police said on Wednesday.
According to police, two men were allegedly beaten to death and seven others were injured, one of them critically, after a mob of villagers attacked them on suspicion of being robbers in Chandgaon village in Vaijapur taluka on June 8.
Police said a mob of at least 1,500 villagers allegedly attacked nine men with wooden sticks after nabbing them from near a farm in the village on morning of last Friday.
A Vaijapur police station official said some fake messages about the presence of a “gang of robbers” were doing rounds on Whatsapp and the incident was fallout of these rumours.
“Following the rumours, villagers were maintaining a vigil in night hours,” said Assistant Police Inspector Ram Hari Yadav.
The official said police rushed to the spot after they received a call from a villager, informing that they had caught a gang of “robbers”. When police reached the village, they found nine men on the ground who had been brutally assaulted, he said.
Police rushed the injured men to the rural hospital in Vaijapur, before shifting them to the GMCH (Government Medical College and Hospital) in Aurangabad, 70 kms away from the village.
Yadav said two of the injured men succumbed to injuries on June 9 while another person is battling for life.
The deceased are identified as Bharat Sonavne and Shivaji Shinde, he said.
Police have booked more than 400 villages on charges of murder and attempt to murder in the case. However, no arrests have been made so far.
Police are investigating the background of the nine men, the official said, adding that details like the reason behind the presence of the men in the village on the day of the incident will come out during the probe.
Aurangabad (Rural) SP Arti Singh today said the lynching occurred in the wake of certain fake messages and posts being circulated on Whatsapp in the village about the presence of a gang of robbers.
The SP said senior police officers have been directed to initiate necessary action to curb such fake messages on WhatsApp and other social media.
In separate incidents of lynching last month, two men were allegedly beaten to death by a group of villagers in Telangana on suspicion of being thieves.
In Assam on Friday, two men from Guwahati were lynched by unidentified people in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district on the suspicion that they were child lifters.
Nilotpal Das (29), a sound engineer based in Mumbai, and his friend Abhijeet Nath (30), a businessman, had gone to the picnic spot Kangthilangso in Karbi Anglong late Friday night to capture the sounds of nature, police said.
The incident took place in the backdrop of a rumour on social media that a group of ‘sopadhara’ (meaning child abductor or lifter in Assamese) were on the prowl in Nagaland’s Dimapur town and some of its adjoining areas in the district. Karbi Anglong shares a border with Nagaland on the east.
On their way back from the picnic spot, the duo was stopped by some villagers at Panjuri. They were pulled out of the car and mercilessly beaten to death suspicion of being child lifters.
Both Das and Nath, according to a video circulated on social media, pleaded that they were not child lifters, but were Assamese visiting Karbi Anglong district.
After the police reached the spot, the two seriously injured men were rushed to a hospital but they died on the way. Their bodies were cremated on Saturday.
(With inputs from PTI)