Man mistaken for child kidnapper, lynched in Chamarajpet

Man mistaken for child kidnapper, lynched in Chamarajpet

A video grab of the lynching.

A 26-year-old man was beaten to death in West Bengaluru's Chamarajpet on Wednesday on the suspicion that he was out to kidnap children. 

Kaluram Bachanram, from Rajasthan, had arrived in the city a couple of months ago in search of a job. He stayed in Pension Mohalla, Chamarajpet. 

Seeing his long hair and flowing beard, local residents mistook him for a child kidnapper. They chased him until the Ranganatha Theatre and pinned him to the ground before raining blows on him. They didn't stop at that. They tied him with a rope and dragged him on the road. 

It soon turned into a free-for-all with a large crowd joining in. Calling him a child kidnapper, they kicked him, beat him with wooden poles and a cricket bat. They didn't spare him even after his bones cracked. 

Around 1.40 pm, a passerby called the police, saying people were beating a man on the road. A Hoysala patrol car rushed to the spot, driving the mob away. Police took the victim to the Victoria Hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. They have kept his body in the morgue and are trying to contact his family.

Police have registered a case against members of the public and are reviewing the CCTV footage to identify the culprits. 

The incident seems to be the fallout of a series of rumours doing the rounds in the entire state for the past few days that a gang was out to kidnap children. The rumours, complete with a morphed video, had some gory details: the kidnappers take out the children's eyes and kidneys, and throw their bodies out. 

Police had to send messages and hold awareness programmes to dispel the rumours and reassure the public. They also registered a case against 10 people who spread this message. 

In 2015, a similar false message did the rounds that 3,000 armed men were roaming in parts of Solapur district, Maharashtra, to kidnap children.