Child-theft rumours: 19 held for resorting to violence in different incidents

Rayagada: As mob fury continues to take place in several parts of the state over rumours of child theft incidents, police today detained as many as 19 people for taking law into their own hands and resorting to violence.

According to sources, Ambadala police today arrested 16 people of Peruguda village in Rayagada for thrashing two persons on suspicion of being child lifters on May 27.

In a similar incident, police detained three other persons of Simulia area in Balasore late on Monday night for stripping and beating up a woman in full public glare suspecting her to be a ‘child-lifter’ yesterday.

The incident came to light after a video of the woman being beaten up and stripped went viral on social media platform WhatsApp. Later after getting information, police reached the spot and rescued the victim and admitted her to hospital.

Earlier on Monday, locals tied a mentally-challenged man to a tree and thrashed him at Balia village under Pattamundai block of Balasore while two other persons also faced mob fury and were beaten black and blue in Aska.

It is pertinent to note that incidents of mob violence over child theft rumours have become frequent after a video showing miscreants lifting children and later extracting their eyes and kidneys went viral few days ago.

However, DGP RP Sharma has rubbished such rumours of child-lifting gangs operating in the state and called upon the people to “not to believe in fake viral videos” on social media sites.

He has also directed superintendents of police in all districts to remain alert and take action against the rumour-mongers for orchestrating violence.