A 32-year-old software engineer from India's Hyderabad city was killed by a mob on suspicions that he was a child-lifter, and at least one other person with him was critically injured, police said on Sunday.
The incident took place Saturday in Karnataka's Bidar district, about 100 kilometres north-west of Hyderabad, where the man had gone for a picnic with friends, district police superintendent D Devaraju said.
The software engineer, Mohammad Azam, and four of his friends were returning to Hyderabad when they stopped at a village and one of them offered chocolates to some children, police said.
Villagers became suspicious, and soon a mob gathered. The men fled in their car, fearing trouble. However, the car hit some obstacle as it passed the next village and fell in a ditch, the NDTV news channel reported.
False messages had been spread about them on WhatsApp, which had reached residents of the other village, and soon a huge mob of people gathered and started beating them up, Devaraju said.
Local police arrived on the scene but were outnumbered by the mob. One officer and a constable were injured as they tried to stop the attack.
Azam died on the spot, while another young man was in critical condition at a hospital in Hyderabad. The other three men were also injured.
More than 30 people have been detained, Devaraju said.
There have been a string of similar incidents across India in recent months fuelled by rumours on social media, despite awareness campaigns and outreach programmes in the region.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Opposition alliance ‘is a grouping of corrupt’: PM
Indian gov't sacks two PNB execs for alleged lapses in $2 bn fraud: sources
Audience impresses curator as art show enters second month
Modi laughs off opposition’s rally as ‘anti-people’
Opposition parties come together to ‘oust Modi’
Karnataka Congress shifts MLAs to resort after meet
Disgraced Indian guru gets life for killing journalist
Indian opposition seeks scrapping of 1870 sedition law after students charged
Millions join Hindu pilgrimage as politics interferes