New Delhi: After mob lynching in the name of cow protection, a similar frenzy over child-lifting is fuelling panic among people in Uttar Pradesh. In the past two weeks, over 20 such cases have been reported in the state, claiming one life. Similar case, mainly spurred by rumours, have also been reported in Bihar.
On Thursday, 10 people, including two policemen, were injured as a group of about 150 people in Fatehpur district, near Banda, pelted stones at the police and attacked a health department team following rumours of child lifting.
On Wednesday, a 14-year-old boy was thrashed in Peedri village of Deoria district over suspicion of child lifting.
According to India Today, the incident took place in the afternoon when a minor was caught on suspicion of being a child lifter and was beaten up by locals. On the same day, a similar incident was reported from a neighbouring district and hometown of state Chief Minister Adityanath. In a case reported from a village in Khajni area of Gorakhpur, a mentally challenged person was mistaken to be a child lifter and beaten up by a mob until some locals intervened. He was admitted to a hospital.
According to media reports, on Tuesday, two brothers, who were taking their nephew to a doctor for treatment in Asalatpur Jarai village of Sambhal district of Uttar Pradesh, were beaten up by a mob who suspected them to be child-lifters. Both were dragged to a field, where they were ruthlessly beaten up, leading the death of one of them, according to media reports.
Four other incidents came to light in Shamli, Bulandshahr and Hapur on the same day, August 27.
In Shamli district, five women were beaten up by a mob while they were selling ropes on suspicion that they were child-lifters. They were rescued by the police.
Similarly, in Bulandshahr, a mentally challenged man was beaten up by a mob on similar suspicion. In Hapur, a woman had to face the mob’s wrath after being mistaken for a child lifter.
In Bareilly, on August 26, a mentally retarded man was punched, kicked and slapped for more than an hour because he had snatched a Rs10 note from the hands of a child in the market place as he had been hungry for days. Even the cops, who tried to intervene, were beaten up and chased away by the angry mob.
Commenting on rising mob violence in the name of child-lifting, UP Congress vice-president Omkar Nath Singh told NewsClick, "In Uttar Pradesh, the situation of law and order is worsening. A grand welcome was given to the Bulandshahr riot accused who are also accused in the killing of police inspector Subodh Singh, who were released on bail, and the government is promoting this. It should be noted that in most cases of mob violence, whether in the name of cow slaughter or child lifting, mostly Right-wing people are involved. Such incidents, which are increasing by the day, expose the claim of Adityanath that UP’s law and order has become a ‘model’ for the country."
Meanwhile, to stop widespread rumours of child lifting leading to several incidents of mob lynching in Uttar Pradesh, the state government has instructed all district police chiefs to slap National Security Act (NSA) against those who are found inciting mobs or spreading rumours on social media.
"NSA will be slapped against culprits found involved in such brutal acts," Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police O.P. Singh told media.