Couple attacked in Maharashtra’s Malegaon on suspicion of being child lifters
In yet another incident of violence triggered by social media messages, a beggar couple was allegedly attacked by a mob in Malegaon town in Nashik district over rumours that they are part of a gang of child lifters, police said on Monday.
The incident occurred Sunday night, hours after five people were allegedly lynched by a mob in neighbouring Dhule district on the same charge.
The couple, part of a group of four families, hailed from Jintur in Parbhani district of Marathwada, said Additional SP Harsh Poddar.
“They had come to Dhule in search of livelihood and were returning to Jintur. They came to Malegaon in hope of earning some money by begging and were staying near Manmad Square,” he said.
Last night, Gajanan Gire (40) and his wife Sindhubai Gire (35) were begging in Azad Nagar area when a mob surrounded them and accused them of being the members of a gang of child lifters, the officer said.
He said the rumours were going around on social media that a gang of child lifters was roaming in the city.
“The mob started beating the couple. However, a tragedy was averted after some citizens informed the police about the incident, following which a police team rushed to the spot and pacified the people,” the officer said.
He said the couple was then taken to a police station and questioned about their presence in the area.
“Police cross-checked the background of the couple by calling up the Jintur police,” the officer said, adding that the couple and the group left the town for Jintur Monday morning.
A case has been registered against unidentified people at Azad Nagar police station.