Indian police said yesterday that five people had been arrested for lynching a man after accusing him of kidnapping children, the latest in a renewed string of attacks fuelled by malicious rumour-mongering.
Some 150 people have been attacked recently across the country based on false kidnapping reports, some of them shared on WhatsApp, leaving authorities in a fix.
Since August 1, at least nine people have died and 135 others injured in mob attacks, according to figures collated by local media.
Police said in the latest incident a mob set upon the 45-year-old man in eastern Jharkhand state late Tuesday, thrashing him with sticks and shoes.
“The rumour was going around in the village about child lifters roaming in the area. We have arrested five persons in the case,” senior local police officer Prabhat Kumar told AFP by telephone.
The attack came on the heels of six persons being thrashed in the same state on Monday.
A pregnant deaf and mute woman was also attacked in New Delhi in late August, with the mob wrongly believing she was involved in kidnapping.