A mob allegedly beat to death a 40-year-old woman in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad on Tuesday on the suspicion that she was a child abductor, reported The Indian Express.
Inspector JA Rathva of Vadaj police station said the incident took place at Juna Vadaj Circle when a mob of around 30 people attacked four women travelling in an autorickshaw, PTI reported. Shanta Devi died of her injuries while the other three women suffered injuries in the attack and were admitted to Ahmedabad Civil Hospital.
The lynching was reportedly triggered by a rumour of “child lifters in the area” being circulated on social media for the past few days.
In her complaint, Anasiben Marwadi, who was accompanying Devi, said they had left their relative’s home in Sardarnagar area of Ahmedabad on Tuesday morning. “Around 2.25 pm, we took an autorickshaw at Naranpura crossing and headed towards Juna Wadaj,” she said. “At that time, we saw some people chasing our autorickshaw, and at Wadaj circle they stopped us.”
She alleged that the people dragged them out of the vehicle as they shouted “you are the gang of child-lifters”. Autorickshaw driver Ghani Khan told The Indian Express that the mob attacked his vehicle and beat up the women.
“Traffic cops intervened and rescued the women, but it was too late for Devi who was declared brought dead at Civil Hospital,” said Inspector JA Rathva, according to The Times of India.
“A case of murder has been registered and an investigation is on to identify the accused,” Ahmedabad Police Commissioner A K Singh said. “We have sought the help of media to counter rumour mongering. We will take strict action against anybody indulging in [spreading rumours].”
This attack follows a similar incident in central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district on June 9 where two men were beaten to death on the suspicion of being kidnappers. More than 30 people have been arrested for being part of the mob, and 35 for spreading rumours on social media.
On June 13, a mob allegedly beat to death a man in West Bengal’s Malda on the suspicion that he was a child abductor.