70-yr-old lynched on ‘child-lifting’ rumour
A 70-year-old sadhu, or Hindu ascetic, died after he was attacked by a group of men on suspicion of being a child lifter in Panhai village of Uttar Pradesh’s Chitrakoot on Wednesday, the police said on Thursday.
According to Manikpur station house officer (SHO) KK Mishra, the victim, Ram Bharosey from Shahjahanpur, was staying in a temple in a nearby village and ventured into Panhai, when the group, driven by rumours of child-lifting, became suspicious because of his attire.
While he was being questioned about why he had come to the village, some people grew restive and began beating him up. The beating lasted for 30 minutes before some locals called the police, Mishra said.
“He was barely breathing when emergency response team Dial 100 reached the site of the incident and somehow managed to rescue Ram Bharosey, who was in a critical condition. The mob even attacked the police team,” Mishra said.
Ram Bharosey was taken to a local hospital that referred him to the district hospital in Karvi, but he died before he could be shifted, the SHO said.
Chitrakoot superintendent of police (SP) Manoj Jha denied Ram Bharosey had been beaten up due to rumours of child lifting. He said the man was psychologically unstable and carrying an axe, raising suspicion among the locals.
“Three people beat him up in order to extract information about his identity. The victim was lying at the Manikpur train station for the last two days and the station master had asked two people to take him with them,” the SP said.
“Since he was old and psychologically unstable, he could not answer them. As a result, they started beating him up. The Dial 100 team was informed and the old man was hospitalised on Wednesday afternoon and he died during treatment,” Jha said.Police have taken into custody the three persons who beat up the sadhu, Jha said, without giving details of the detainees.
Ram Bharosey had been living in temples and mutts in the region fore the past 10 years and kept moving from one place to another, the police said.
Uttar Pradesh has been witnessing a series of mob attacks on suspicion of child kidnappings. In Kanpur and Bundelkhand, more than 20 cases of people assaulting individuals have been reported in the past fortnight.