Hyderabad: A transgender was beaten to death and three others severely injured when a mob attacked them with stones in the old city area of Hyderabad late on Saturday night over suspicions of them being child lifters.
Police has taken 25 people into custody after inspecting CCTV footage from the area.
Hyderabad Police has also arrested two students on charges of forwarding a video with fake information regarding kidnapping gangs operating in the city causing fear among locals.
According to police, several transgenders had come to the city from Mahbubnagar district for the ongoing Ramzan month and were seen begging in the area.
The locals got suspicious about their movement at night. After they failed to give any convincing answers, the mob started thrashing them and the tension quickly escalated.
The angry mob even pelted stones and attacked the police when they tried to rescue the victims. Special forces had to be deployed in the area to bring the situation under control.
Both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh has witnessed a string of similar attacks where strangers have been indiscriminately attacked by locals suspecting them of being part of child kidnapping gangs.
A message has gone viral on social media claiming members of Pardhi gang who are kidnapping children have entered the two states. The message also says the gang is killing children to harvest their organs.
In the last few days, at least five people have been lynched and several have been beaten up in different in the two Telugu states.
Both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana police have clarified that there is no such movement of any inter-state gang and there has been no cases of kidnapping reported here.
The police are also conducting awareness campaigns across villages and appealing to people to not believe in these false rumours.
The police has appealed people not to take law in their lands and warned them of strict action. The police has also warned of strict action against people who are spreading these messages and videos on social media.
The Hyderabad Police has said that they have identified more people who are sharing these fake messages on social media and action will be taken against them.