A mob in Katani village of Assam’s Sonitpur district on Friday tied a woman to a pole and thrashed her on suspicion that she was a child-lifter. However, some villagers intervened to stop the attack, and called the police, the Hindustan Times reported.

“We received a call at around 11.10 pm on Friday that villagers of Katani have a woman in their custody,” Sonitpur Additional Superintendent of Police Numal Mahatta said. When the police arrived at the scene, the found the woman with injuries on her face.

“The woman has not been able to speak and tell us details about her,” Mahatta said. “Rumours are doing the rounds and people are living in fear. The woman seems to be an outsider and that may have led to the attack.” The police believe the woman is either from Bihar or a “local adivasi”.

She has been admitted to Tezpur Medical College for treatment. However, the police said no first information report has been registered since no one has come forward to file a complaint. “We may take suo moto cognizance after investigations,” Mahatta said.

A mob in central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district on June 8 lynched two young men from Guwahati who they suspected to be child abductors. The men – Niloptal Das and Abhijeet Nath – were artistes based in Goa and were back home for the Bohag Bihu festival. The police have arrested dozens of people in the case so far.

Three people, including a man hired by the Tripura government to spread awareness against rumours of child-lifting, have been killed in the state over the last two days. The government has imposed a 24-hour ban on mobile internet and SMS services.