Crime
The police have arrested 32 people in all, including two men who are admins of a WhatsApp group, accused of spreading fake news of child lifters.

In yet another utterly horrifying case of a mob lynching a person, assuming they are child abductors, 26-year-old Ajam from Hyderabad was killed on Friday in Bidar’s Murki village.

According to the Kamalanagar police, four men aged between 24 and 28 years had come to Murki on a trip on Friday.

“The men were friends and they were tourists here. On Friday evening, they had parked their car near the government school in Bootakula village for a while before driving on. When they saw a few children come out, they offered them the chocolates that they were eating. When the residents saw them, they began screaming ‘child abductors, child abductors’,” an officer with the Kamalanagar police station told TNM.

A few residents of the village went up to the four men and began questioning them. Police allege that the residents threatened to beat them up and told them to wait until everyone gathered. Scared by the threats hurled at them, the four men sped away in their car.

“As the residents saw the men speed away in their car, they called their friends from the adjacent village, Murki, and informed them that child abductors were escaping on the main road in a red-coloured car. The residents of Murki set-up road blocks to ensure the car had to stop and waited for the four men to arrive,” the police added.

Ajam and his friends were driving at a very high speed, and when they encountered the road blocks, they could not brake. The car veered off the road when Ajam lost control of the steering wheel.

“Over 400 people gathered, and they pulled the four men out of the car and began beating them with wooden sticks. One of the residents had informed the police about the incident when the assault was taking place. By the time we arrived, the four men were bleeding heavily. Ajam died on the spot before he could be taken to the hospital. The three others were shifted to the hospital and administered aid by the paramedics. Since they requested to be sent back to Hyderabad, an ambulance was arranged and they were taken back last night to a hospital in the city,” the police said.

Ajam’s body has been sent for an autopsy and was handed over to his kin on Saturday. The police have arrested 32 people in connection with the murder and assault, including two men – Manoj Kumar (32) and Amar Patil (40) – who were the admins of a WhatsApp group. The two men are accused of spreading fake WhatsApp messages to people in Murki via the Murki Mothers Group.

An FIR has been registered for murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and common intention at the Kamalanagar police station.

Over 30 people have been killed across the country as fake WhatsApp messages warning people of child lifters has circulated.

Read: WhatsApp rolls out 'Forwarded' label to fight misinformation