A local electrician in Secunderabad was roughed up in the city's Vinayaknagar area near Neredmet on Sunday after locals believed that he attempted to kidnap a child.
The incident took place at around 10 am in the morning as the man, identified as Sudhakar, was on his way to work.
The Neredmet police said that Sudhakar lifted a child as he was walking and this was immediately spotted by locals who began questioning him.
The police said that the man was drunk and was also wearing soiled clothes, which aggravated the situation further, as locals rounded him up.
â€śThe locals going by his physical appearance thought he was a child lifter and caught him. After receiving the information, we rushed to the spot and took him into custody. His family and people in his neighbourhood were questioned who said he was not involved in any such activities earlier,â€ť the police were quoted as saying.
The police later found that he lived in Chandragiri Colony with his wife and children.
â€śNothing was found against him. He was living with his family in the neighbouring colony. However, the public did not listen to him and roughed him up. He was set free after verifying his antecedents,â€ť the local police inspector told Deccan Chronicle.
According to media reports, when asked about his actions, Sudhakar said that he had lifted a child and put him on the side as the boy was playing on the road.
However, he was given a warning and made to sign an undertaking in front of the local Mandal Revenue Officer (MRO), before he was let off.
This latest incident comes even as Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have witnessed multiple instances of mobs lynching people on the suspicion that they were members of child lifting gangs or organ smuggling after false messages and rumours on WhatsApp.
The fake messages have also caused unrest in Hyderabad in the past.
To tackle this, earlier this week, WhatsApp released a full-page advertisement in Telugu in all newspapers in the two states, urging people to collectively fight against 'misinformation'. The ad had 10 tips to help the reader decide whether the information received is genuine or fake.