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Over 3 Lakh Volunteers Helping UP Police to Check Child-lifting Rumours on WhatsApp, Other Platforms

Apart from this, the police have taken up awareness programmes. So far, 106 people have been arrested for incidents related to rumours of child lifting.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:August 30, 2019, 10:40 AM IST
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Over 3 Lakh Volunteers Helping UP Police to Check Child-lifting Rumours on WhatsApp, Other Platforms
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Lucknow: Over three lakh volunteers across the state are assisting the Uttar Pradesh police, who are grappling with rumours of child lifting, to keep a tab on social media and check the spread of fake news.

A rough estimate suggests that more than 100 such incidents have been reported from across the state in the month of August alone. Rumours of "baccha chor", or child-lifters, are spreading at an alarming rate, and have kept police and other authorities on their toes.

“The social media cell of the UP Police is working round the clock to keep a check on misleading messages and rumours on social media. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t look like the rumours are part of any planning, rather it is unpredictable. Since it is difficult to identify the source of the videos, we are taking help of around three lakh digital volunteers across the state. They have been asked them to clarify about the fake news to members of WhatsApp groups they are added to,” IG Law and Order, Praveen Kumar told News18.

These volunteers are usually shortlisted by the cyber cell and come from different walks of life.

Apart from this, the police have taken up awareness programmes. So far, 106 people have been arrested for incidents related to rumours of child lifting.

A senior official of the Cyber Cell revealed that most of the gruesome viral videos of child lifting and organ trafficking are from foreign countries. “The rumours of ‘child-lifter’ is not being spread for the first time in the state, but this time the element that is triggering panic among the people on such a massive scale are the visuals showing people ripping out organs from a body and a pile of dead bodies allegedly of the people who died after their organs were taken for organ trafficking. The videos are shared with false narrative and with a false claim that the videos are from India,” he added.

On Thursday, The state government made way for the invocation of the National Security Act (NSA) against those involved in cases of rumour-mongering about "child-lifters" and the subsequent and mob violence after a spike in such incidents in Uttar Pradesh.

A mentally unstable man in Amroha on the suspicion of being a child lifter on Thursday, while another was mercilessly thrashed by a mob in Dehri Khadar village in Adampur area.

Earlier, two brothers were assaulted in Sambhal while they were with their nephew, who was unwell, to buy him medicines. The duo was beaten by the mob on suspicion of being child-lifters after which one of them succumbed to his injuries. The other one is undergoing treatment in local hospitals’ critical unit.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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