Three people, including a man hired by the Tripura government to spread awareness against rumour-mongering, have been lynched in the state over the past two days, The Hindu reported on Friday.
On Thursday, a mob lynched Sukanta Chakraborty, who was a member of a team of the state Information and Culture Affairs department campaigning against rumour-mongering, at Kalachhara in South Tripura district on the suspicion that he was a child lifter.
“A mob attacked his vehicle at Kalachhara when he was returning to Sabroom,” said Assistant Inspector General of Police Smriti Ranjan Das. “He died but his driver, who too was beaten up, escaped with injuries.”
In a separate incident on Thursday, a mob lynched another man on similar suspicions, News18 reported. Two people are in a critical condition following the attack.
On Friday, a mob lynched an unidentified woman when she and four men were travelling in a vehicle at Bishalgarh in Sipahijala district, according to The Times of India.
After the incidents, Tripura Director General of Police AK Shukla suspended messaging and mobile internet services in the state for the next 24 hours to prevent rumour-mongering.
On Thursday too, the state government had banned mobile internet and SMS services in the state for 48 hours, citing a threat to public safety. The Bharatiya Janata Party government said it took the decision in the wake of rumours about the presence of kidnappers “creating panic” in the state.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had appealed to people to not indulge in spreading rumours and fake news.
Over the past month, several incidents of mob violence following rumours on social media have been reported across the country, leading to assaults and murders. On June 2, a man was lynched in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri district. On June 8, two men were pulled out of their car and lynched by a mob in Assam. On June 14, a similar murder was reported in West Bengal’s Malda district. On June 22, a similar rumour led to a lynching in Chhattisgarh’s Sarguja district. On June 26, a mob beat to death a 40-year-old woman in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad on the suspicion that she was a kidnapper.