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WhatsApp Rumours Claim One More Life; Man Lynched in Tripura on Suspicion of Being Child Lifter

DGP Akhil Kumar Shukla appealed to all not to indulge in rumour mongering and to not circulate fake news and images with a view to spreading panic in the society.

Tanmoy Chakraborty | News18

Updated:June 29, 2018, 11:30 AM IST

A man was lynched by a mob in Tripura on Thursday on suspicion of being a child lifter while two others were critically injured. Jahir Khan died on the spot while Gulzar and Khurshid Khan are battling for their lives. All of them are from Uttar Pradesh.

This is the 24th killing in the country in the last one year that has been caused by fake news being spread on WhatsApp. In the past five days, two people have been lynched in Chhattisgarh and Gujarat over the suspicion that they were child lifters and several more have been beaten up.

In Tripura, the rumours of a child lifting gang involved in organ harvesting being active were flamed by the death of an 11-year-old boy on Tuesday night. Class 4 student Purna Biswas was brutally murdered at Mohanpur in western Tripura and his body was found near his home late on Tuesday.

Although police said that the postmortem report established that all his organs were intact, locals claimed that the boy’s kidneys were missing.

The Tripura police strongly condemned the rumour mongering by a section of people on alleged involvement of organ lifter in the tragic murder of Purna Biswas and said it was totally false and baseless.

DGP Akhil Kumar Shukla also appealed to all not to indulge in rumour mongering and to not circulate fake news and images with a view to spreading panic in the society. The DGP also warned that legal action will be taken against persons found indulging in such acts.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb also tried to lay the rumours to death by speaking on it in the Assembly, but failed.

Reports in local media on Wednesday had claimed that the boy's body bore grievous injuries and the kidneys were missing.

There has been a sudden spike in fear among parents over the alleged presence of child lifters in the state. At least nine people have also been thrashed by mobs in the last couple of days over suspicions of them being involved in the gang.

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