Ten people, including two police personnel, were injured after a group of local residents in Uttar Pradesh’s Fatehpur district pelted stones at them following child-lifting rumours on Wednesday, PTI reported, quoting police. The mob, which had around 150 locals, also attacked health department officials who had visited Khesan village.

Three different cases were filed and 15 people were arrested after the incident, Fatehpur Superintendent of Police Ramesh said. A police team that reached the scene was also attacked with stones. Sub-Inspector Sunil Yadav and Head Constable Sarnam Singh were injured, police added.

Dr Ajay Gautam, who is in charge of Haswa Primary Health Centre, said that rumours about the health department officials being child-lifters were circulated after they reached the village. Police officials said that security had been deployed in the village and that the situation was normal.

The incident came on the heels of another mob attack on Tuesday in the state’s Sambhal district where a man was lynched and another seriously injured after residents mistook him for a kidnapper. The man and his brother were taking their nephew to the doctor.

Within the last few days, 90 people have been arrested for mob attacks on suspicion of child abduction, Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh said on Wednesday. “A total of 46 incidents were reported in which one person was killed and 29 injured,” Hindustan Times quoted him as saying. “The first case was registered in early August and 32 FIRs [first information reports] have been filed so far in these matters.” The incidents were mostly reported from Bareilly, Meerut and Agra, he added.

Singh said that he had directed police chiefs in all districts to make sure that chargesheets were filed for every mob attack episode within 15 days. “Appeals are also being made through public announcement systems in affected areas,” Singh said. “Charges under the National Security Act will be slapped against the accused if such cases are reported in future.”

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