Mobs go berserk in Odisha amid child-theft rumours

Ganjam/Koraput: It seems that the Odisha DGP’s appeal to the citizens to refrain from spreading child-theft rumours and attacking innocent people on suspicion of child lifting has fallen on deaf ears as the state witnessed as many as five such incidents on Monday.

As per reports, the locals of Athagarhpatna Village in Aska of Ganjam district detained over 80 non-Odia persons suspecting them to be child lifters. The villagers later handed them over to police while further investigation into the incident is on, sources said.

In a similar incident, the villagers of Pukali in Potangi block of Koraput district chased down a Tata Sumo bearing registration number of neighbouring Jharkhand and set it on fire.

While two of the passengers were nabbed and thrashed by the locals, another managed to escape.

The wrath of the villagers further grew as they even thrashed the Potangi Police Station Inspector In-Charge who had arrived at the spot to control the situation.

Earlier in Kendrapara, locals tied a mentally-challenged man to a tree and thrashed him on suspicion of being a child lifter at Balia village under Pattamundai block here. The mob also seized some money, one razor and a pair of new clothes from his possession.

Similarly in Balasore, a woman was detained by locals and thrashed near Balanga Chhak on Soro-Anantpur road. On getting information, Anantpur police rushed to the spot and rescued the woman.

In another case in Ganjam district, two persons faced mob fury and were beaten black and blue in Aska on suspicion of being child-lifters. Sources said, the duo was tied to trees and assaulted by locals.