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One killed, 2 injured as mob in Tripura attacks ‘outsiders’ on suspicion of being child-lifters

Rumours on social media about the presence of child-lifters spurred some locals to brutally assault three men who were selling utensils from a van.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2018 20:49 IST
Priyanka Deb Barman
Priyanka Deb Barman
Hindustan Times, Agartala
Tripura,child lifter rumours,Mob justice
Rumours of presence of child-lifters in the state have been in the news since the recovery of the body of an 11-year-old boy at Mohanpur on Tuesday.(PTI File Photo)

Adding to the disturbing incidents of mob justice across the country, one person was lynched to death and two others injured when an angry crowd attacked them on suspicion of being child-lifters in Tripura on Thursday, police said.

The incident took place at Murabari area in Sidhai, nearly 28 km from capital Agartala. The deceased, identified as Zahid Khan (30) and two others, Gulzan Ahmed Khan and Khursheed Khan (22) had gone to the area in a van to sell utensils when they were targeted by locals. Zahid and Gulzan hail from Bihar and Khursheed is a resident of Uttar Pradesh, police said.

Believing rumors on social media about presence of child-lifters, some locals suspected them to be kidnappers and started thrashing them brutally. The unruly mob even targeted the police team that reached the spot to rescue the victims. One policeman and one local resident were injured in the incident, said police.

The grievously injured victims were rushed to a nearby hospital where Zahid was declared brought dead. The condition of Gulzan and Khursheed are stated to be critical.

Some reports said the victims tried to take shelter at a nearby Tripura State Rifles (TSR) camp, but the mob entered the enclosure and started beating them there.

“All senior officers are on the spot. More details will be known later,” an official from the police headquarter control room said.

The rumours of presence of child-lifters in the state have been in the news since the recovery of the body of an 11-year-old boy at Mohanpur on Tuesday.

DGP Akhil Kumar Shukla denied the child-lifters rumour mongering in the state and appealed to the people to avoid controversial news and refrain from sharing such news on social media without confirmation.

Police have so far arrested three suspects for spreading rumours of child-lifters in the state.

Internet and SMS services have been suspended for next 48 hours from Thursday 2 PM to maintain law and order, the police said in a release.

First Published: Jun 28, 2018 20:49 IST