Villagers lynch north Indian youth near Hosur

The police, who came to the village after hearing about the incident, shifted the youth to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead. DH Photo

In yet another case of mob justice, a group of villagers mercilessly lynched a north Indian youth near Hosur in Tamil Nadu on Thursday night suspecting him to be a child trafficker.

Police believe the lynching of the youth in Onnalvadi village, 15 km from Hosur on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border, was not pre-meditated and the mob thrashed him to death after a WhatsApp message that child traffickers in the guise of migrants could be roaming in their area went viral.

The incident took place on Thursday evening when the youth and two of his accomplices were walking around the village. Suspecting them to be child traffickers, as none of them were familiar with the locals, the villagers attacked the trio. While two youths managed to escape, one got caught.

The police, who came to the village after hearing about the incident, shifted the youth to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead.

“When we reached the spot, the youth was unconscious and he was bleeding profusely. He was declared dead at the hospital,” police sources said.

Quoting eyewitnesses, police said the villagers attacked the youths as they did not respond to their questions - possibly because they did not know Tamil - and tried to move away from the spot.

While two youths escaped, the villagers dragged the other person to a nearby playground, tied him to a pole and attacked him with wooden logs.

“The youth who was killed was not a child lifter. We are yet to ascertain the identity of the youth, but the public seemed to have attacked him after being misguided by false messages and videos,” Krishnagiri Superintendent of Police D Mahesh Kumar told DH.

He said seven villagers have been taken into custody for beating the youth to death and efforts are on to create awareness among the public on fake messages that are doing the rounds on social media.

“We have been making announcements in every village in the area asking people not to take the law into their hands by beating up innocent people. We are also asking people not to believe rumours in the form of messages and videos,” he said.

Thursday's incident is the fifth case of lynching in the state since April.

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