The incident took place in Teynampet when the duo was reportedly walking down the street after a brief interaction with the child.

Fake child kidnapper rumours reach Chennai Two men assaulted in heart of city
news Crime Monday, July 02, 2018 - 09:39

Two migrant workers were thrashed by a mob who suspected them to be child kidnappers in Teynampet on Saturday. The incident indicates that the rumours that child kidnappers were on the loose have reached Chennai.

The two men, identified as Gopal Sahu, 22 and Vinod Vikhari 25, are migrant labourers from Bihar. They were attacked by a mob for talking to a 4-year-old child. 

According to a report in The New Indian Express, a police official said, “The child’s mother Varalakshmi had gone to a nearby shop and the child Avinash ran out of the house following her. To protect him, one of the workers, Gopal Sahu, picked him up.” 

However, when a resident of the same street, Selva Kumar, suspected them to be child kidnappers, the duo left. Soon, men on motorbikes descended on the two and began attacking them. 

“As they were walking down Thiruvallur Salai, eight men on motorbikes surrounded them and started assaulting them,” the officer told TNIE. 

The attack comes as a wave of mob violence has been unleashed in the state as well as the country over suspected child abductions. 

On Sunday, five persons were killed in Maharashtra by a mob that suspected them to be ‘child lifters’. Reports said that the accused hail from a village where Whatsapp posts related to child-lifters had gone viral.

TNM had reported in May this year that much of the violence and lynching to death of people had been triggered by audio, video and messages doing the rounds on WhatsApp. 

These messages, fanning fear of migrant labourers and accusing them of being criminals, had led to the brutal lynching of a 65-year-old woman in May. Rukmini, who was on her way to a temple in Thiruvannamalai district. She was attacked by a mob of 200 people who feared she was there to kidnap the children when she stopped to greet children in the area with sweets.

The police department is working actively to counter the hate-filled propaganda by raising awareness. 


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