Bengaluru: A man was beaten up by a mob on suspicion of child lifting after he stopped a school bus to meet his children in Karnataka’s Mandya district.
Victim Mahesh Babu was visiting from Andhra Pradesh with three others and had stopped the bus to enquire if his children were inside. However, villagers suspected him to be a child lifter and started beating him up. Babu was saved when cops arrived at the spot and took him and his son to the police station.
“Mahesh Babu and his wife Asha, a native of KR Pete, separated three months ago and their children aged nine and four were staying with the mother. Babu had enquired about the kids and wanted to meet them,” KR Pete inspector Venkatesh told CNN News18. The family was later summoned to the police station and the children sent with the mother.
The incident is the latest in a series of similar attacks on suspicion of child lifting. On July 13, Hyderabad techie Mohammad Azam Usmansab was lynched by a mob near Bidar after a WhatsApp video wrongly identified him as a child lifter. The video, which originated from Bengaluru, said three children were kidnapped by strangers who lured them into accepting chocolates, biscuits and other toys. On July 1, a mob lynched five people in Maharashtra’s Dhule after rumours of child lifting.
The central government has asked messaging platform WhatsApp to crack down on these rumours. Recently, union home secretary met top officials of the home ministry, electronics and information technology ministry, WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter to discuss the implications of rumours on social media.