Another person has been killed by a mob on the basis of a fake WhatsApp rumours. In Hyderabad’s old city area, a group of transgender women were attacked by a mob who believed that they were part of a dacoit gang out to kidnap children, based on WhatsApp forwards. One of the women was killed by the mob.
The incident took place in Chandrayangutta. According to the police, four transgender women had traveled to Hyderabad from Telangana's Mahabubnagar district, and were seeking alms during Ramzan.
Close to midnight on Saturday, local residents stopped them and started questioning them. The mob then attacked them, and two of the women were badly injured. A video of the incident shows the police trying to ward off the angry mob even as two people lay motionless on the ground.
According to reports, the injured were shifted to the Osmania General Hospital, where one of them succumbed to her injuries. Her body has been shifted to the mortuary for an autopsy.
One other person was grievously injured.
Tensions ran high in the middle of the night as locals pelted stones at the patrol vehicle which came to rescue the trans women, accusing them of 'saving kidnappers.' Some policemen were also injured in the melee.
A video of the incident also shows South Zone DCP S Satyanarayana on the ground, seemingly yelling at the mob. Extra forces were deployed in the old city area to bring the situation under control.
The attack comes after several fake videos of “kidnappers” began doing the rounds on WhatsApp groups in the city.
Around 25 people were reportedly detained by the police following the incident. Speaking to reporters, DCP Satyanarayana said that all four persons would have died if the police had not stepped in on time.
Hyd police makes appeal
The entire state of Telangana and even neighbouring Andhra Pradesh is plagued with the menace of fake news and rumours of a ‘Pardhi gang’ on the 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.
Taking to Twitter on Sunday morning, the Hyderabad police tweeted, “Dear all, please don’t believe and share news that gangs from other states have entered into Telugu states (robbers and kidnappers) on your social media accounts. It is all fake.”
“Don’t share viral content, which makes the citizens unnecessarily panic. If you suspect someone, just dial 100 or share information with your local police via whatever means is available to you. Thank you,” it added.
A case has been registered under sections 307 (Attempt to murder), 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from duty), 427 (Mischief causing damage), 147 (Rioting) read with 149 (Unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) with the Chandrayangutta police.
This comes days after a man with mental health issues 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 a 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.
Earlier this week, Telangana Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy 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.