Fake videos of child kidnappers came from Andhra Pradesh

Fake videos of child kidnappers came from Andhra Pradesh

False messages and videos of child kidnappers were first seen circulating in the East Godavari and Anantapur districts in Andhra Pradesh since the beginning of this month. It spread to Pavagada taluk in Tumakuru district and later crept into the state.

The state’s bordering villages such as Palavalli, Komma Samudra, Dodda Halli and K Rampura in Pavagada taluk witnessed immediate panic.

Meanwhile, incidents of unidentified miscreants trying to abduct two girls in Palavalli, and a nine-year-old boy going missing from K Rampura village were reported. Nearly 300 people waited for the kidnapper in their villages during the nights, but in vain. These incidents made the locals believe in the videos and messages. Many villagers even stopped going out in order to guard their children at home, sources said.

Divya Gopinath, Tumakuru SP, said the images in the video were totally different from the real scenario.

However, no complaints were filed in the district, Divya said, adding that a couple of incidents of children being kidnapped in order to be offered as sacrifices also added fuel to the fire.

Serial adds to fear

A vernacular crime thriller series also had aired a story two days ago, wherein a boy is kidnapped and his organs are taken away. Finally, the police could only find his severed head.

The episode prompted viewers to believe the tales about the child kidnappers.

Videos from Syria, war-hit countries

A senior police officer said the children in the video were from Syria and other war-hit countries. Videos of accidents were also clubbed and photoshopped.

A few videos were of still photographs of mentally challenged men, women and beggars. They were portrayed as child kidnappers, with a message that around 3,000 such people have come from Bihar, disguised as beggars, the officer added.

The videos went viral all over the state and resulted in the assault of beggars and people who appeared mentally challenged.

The lynching of Kalu Ram (26) by a mob in Chamarajpet on Wednesday has prompted the police to scrutinise such videos.

“We are even contemplating action against those responsible for creating such videos,” a senior police officer said.

“The media should make the public aware that such videos are fake and should not be circulated to create fear among the citizens. I have also sought a report on the law and order situation in the city on Wednesday,” said DG-IGP Neelmani Raju.