New Delhi: Social media once again claim a few more lives as rumours about child-lifters gang caused attack on five people. It has claimed their lives as they were visiting a Dhule village in north Maharashtra despite police intervention.
Around 5,000 villagers from the tribal area of Rainpada in Dhuledistrict,were present at the scene on Sunday morning when a mob set upon the visitors on suspicion of them being child-lifters.
Rumours about child-lifters operating in the tribal districts of Dhule and nearby Nandurbar have been flying thick and fast in recent days, both on social media and through word of mouth.
Dhule police said a crowd at the weekly market began questioning the five men moments after they got off a state transport bus. One of them had reportedly attempted to speak to a child. “The villagers got into an argument with the men when the latter failed to give answers to their satisfaction. They started thrashing the men,” police said.
The mob kicked and punched the victims and also hit them with stones and any object they could lay their hands on. A team from Pimpalner police station which arrived at the spot took the injured men to a gram panchayat office. However, more villagers gathered around the office, broke down the panchayat office’s door, assaulted the police team and clobbered the five men to death, sources said. Three policemen were said to be injured in the attack.
Personnel from the State Reserve Police Force in Dhule were called in to provide back-up. The bodies were later taken to the Pimpalner rural hospital, where they were declared dead. M Ramkumar, SP (Dhule), said, “We have detained 17 persons in connection with this case.”
The victims were members of a nomadic tribe, which primarily makes a living by seeking alms. The community has a large presence in Solapur district. Of the five victims, DadaraoBhosale, Bharat Bhosale and Bharat Salve hailed from Khave village in Mangalvedha while Ingole hailed from Manewada and RajuBhosale from a village on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border in Solapur district.