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UP Resorts to NSA to Curb Rumour-Mongering, Mob Violence Against Alleged Child Lifters

A rough estimate suggests that more than 100 such incidents have been reported from across the state in the month of August alone.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:August 29, 2019, 5:28 PM IST
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UP Resorts to NSA to Curb Rumour-Mongering, Mob Violence Against Alleged Child Lifters
File photo of UP DGP Om Prakash Singh. (Image: CISF/Twitter)
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Lucknow: The state government has 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.

DGP of UP Police OP Singh on Wednesday said, "There were incidents of violence reported from many parts of the state due to rumours about 'child lifters'. In the investigations, the claim of child lifting could not be verified anyhow. I want to appeal to you all today not to take law in your hands or indulge in any kind of violence."

He further appealed to the people asking them to report any information on alleged child lifters on the emergency number 100.

“Till now strict action has been taken against 82 people who were either found involved in spreading rumours and were engaged in violence. Also National Security Act will be invoked against the culprits," he said.

He requested the people of the state to not spread rumours on the social media, and warned of action against those who do.

"I hope all the responsible residents of Uttar Pradesh will help police in maintaining peace in the state. Jai Hind,” he added.

The development comes a day after two brothers, who had taken their nephew to get medicine, were brutally thrashed on suspicion of being child lifters and in the Chandausi area of Sambhal district. One of them later succumbed to his injuries.

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.

These incidents were reported largely from Jhansi, Meerut, Bareilly, Sambhal, Jaunpur, Unnao and Raebareli.

Mob violence against alleged child lifters has been reported from other states as well. In Haryana, a young man met a similar fate as he was roughed up by locals, and the mob reportedly ripped his clothes and beat him for hours. Two youths were lynched by a mob in Assam on the same suspicion.

Messages "warning" people of child lifters, often falsely labelled as Rohingyas, routinely do the rounds on messaging apps.

Earlier on Wednesday, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati had also expressed concern over the rise in instances of mob violence, and called for strict action against the perpetrators.

“Mob Lynching in UP is now taking its toll and innocent females are being targeted. People are terrified by such incidents, the state government should take stern action against such culprits,” she tweeted.

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