Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar has appealed to the public not to heed rumours of child trafficking gangs being active in Bengaluru, even as several people were beaten up by mobs in two different incidents on the suspicion that they were out to lift children.
On Friday afternoon, the Whitefield police rescued two women from a mob in Vijayanagar Kutte. The crowd suspected the women to be child snatchers. The police concluded that the women, hailing from Uttar Pradesh, were labourers from Hoodi. A case has been registered.
On Thursday, between 7 pm and 1 am, a large crowd gathered in Pottery Town, East Bengaluru, alleging that child lifters were on the prowl. The crowd surrounded about 12 people, including three women, and attacked them, grievously injuring a man who had to be rushed to the Bowring Hospital.
The police rescued all the people and learnt that they were labourers from Bihar and Nepal. The grievous injured is a Nepalese national. A case was registered at the Pulakeshinagar police station.
“No such gangs have arrived in the city, and whatever is being circulated on the social media or by some sections of the media is false,” Kumar said on Friday, asking people to report suspicious activities or movements, but warned them against taking the law into their own hands.
He also called upon the public not to circulate fake videos and delete them if they receive any. Kumar warned of legal action against those indulging in violence and spreading rumours.
The top officer’s warning came two days after Kalu Ram Bachanram, a 26-year-old man from Rajasthan’s Pali district, was beaten to death by a mob in West Bengaluru’s Chamarajpet on the suspicion that he was part of a gang out to abduct children.
The mob is said to have acted so violently on the back of a WhatsApp video about the “child snatchers”. The video later turned out to have been morphed.
The police have arrested 14 people, including two minors, over the Chamarajpet incident. They are also monitoring posts on WhatsApp and other social media.
2 more held for lynching
The Chamarajpet police have arrested two more men for lynching Kalu, who hailed from Nimaj village in Rajasthan’s Pali district. The suspects — Kiran (22) and Bharath (28) — were produced before a magistrate, who remanded them in judicial custody on Friday.