Days after the horrific lynching of a 65-year-old woman who was mistaken for a child-abductor in Thiruvannamalai, a man returning from a job hunt in Chennai was thrashed by people in Periapalayam for the same reason.
Twenty-year-old Muthupattu Raju who was returning from Chennai after an unsuccessful job search was mistaken for a child abductor and beaten up by a mob around 7:30 pm on Friday, according to a TOI report.
Hailing from Rajapalayam, Virudhnagar district, Raju was heading to Tiruvallur from Chennai to search for construction site jobs when he met the two accused.
The accused, Sakthivel (24) and Vallarasu (23), questioned Raju and on realising that he was not from Tamil Nadu, automatically assumed that he was a child abductor. They called their friends before beating Raju up. However, the police arrived in the nick of time to address the situation.
Raju could not understand a word of what they were asking him so he didn't reply. Taking his silence as a sign of guilt, the duo beat him up, a police officer told TOI.
The police took Raju to the hospital to administer first aid. They also nabbed the two perpetrators, based on a complaint by the victim.
Earlier this month, Ganesh, another man was mistaken for a child-kidnapper and killed in Tiruvallur.
Several other incidents of mob lynchings have been reported in TN over the past month. Mobs are on-edge due to fake messages about 200 child traffickers entering the state doing the rounds on social media.
A video showing how child kidnappers take away children also stirred panic among people in different villages in Tamil Nadu. On investigating the matter, TNM discovered that the video which was doing the rounds in TN was actually an educational video made in Karachi, Pakistan to warn parents to be alert about their kids. In the original video the motorists who abduct the child on a bike return with the child and display a warning message about child-abduction.
However, the original video which is at least 2 years old lasts about 58 seconds, but the version circulating in India has been cut to 28 seconds.