A man with mental health problems was thrashed by a mob in Pahadishareef of Hyderabad over rumours that he was member of a deadly interstate dacoit gang – Pardhi gang. However, with the timely intervention of the police, the victim was saved from the agitated mob.
In the horrific video being shared on social media, the victim is stripped and repeatedly thrashed with sticks and PVC pipes by an angry mob, who question his intention and ask him to reveal his identity.
Police registered a case against the main perpetrator, Venu Goud, who brutally thrashed the victim with sticks and pipes. Cases against other unidentified accused who were part of the mob were also filed. The victim, after being treated in a hospital, was sent to Ananda Ashramam in Chanchalguda.
Speaking to TNM, Pahadishareef Inspector, P Lakshmikant Reddy said, “The incident happened around 4 pm. We received a call about a commotion, about someone trying to scare a woman by trying to a fling a stone at her. Soon, the man was surrounded. Before we could reach the spot, the man was stripped and beaten badly. He couldn’t speak... He has mental health issues. We immediately rushed him to a hospital and filed a case against the mob involved in the crime.”
He added, “This is unacceptable, for people to take law in their hands. It just took five minutes for us to reach the spot. If there was any delay he would have been lynched. We have been cautioning people against the fake rumours, yet they continue to resort to mob justice even if the person is outnumbered.”
Menace of fake news
The entire state and even neighbouring Andhra Pradesh is plagued with the menace of fake news and rumours of the Pardhi gang on prowl. Disturbing videos of a man’s throat being slit, claiming that the perpetrators are Pardhi gang, are being shared to ‘caution’ people. These hoax videos and rumours are leading to mob violence and are claiming lives of innocents.
On Wednesday, two people were killed in Telangana over these rumours. While one victim was an auto-driver from Jiyapally village from Bibinagar mandal, the other was an Adivasi man, who was mistaken for a thief by villagers of Chengal in Nizamabad.
Combating fake news
With the fake news menace spiraling out of hand, the Telangana Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy has directed the Superintendents of each district to hold workshops in every village on how to identify fake news, and also reassure people that there is no presence of any dacoit gang in the state. Police are even arresting the scaremongers who are spreading such fake news and videos, without authenticating them.
Further, to curtail the menace, police personnel are being trained to track down the source of these hoax messages. The DGP also said that they would be opening Twitter and Facebook pages for all the police station, through which the dwellers can reach out to police and authenticate such videos.