Two men killed over false child kidnapping claims on WhatsApp, Facebook

Twenty-seven people have been arrested after two men were beaten to death by a mob following false social media repor...

Posted: Jun 13, 2018 11:49 AM
Updated: Jun 13, 2018 11:49 AM

Twenty-seven people have been arrested after two men were beaten to death by a mob following false social media reports suggesting they were child kidnappers, police in India said.

Abhijit Nath and Nilotpal Das, both 30, were attacked by a group of men in the Karbi Anglong district of the northeastern state of Assam.

A rumor that child kidnappers were operating in the mainly rural area had been circulating on WhatsApp and Facebook groups for days, police told CNN. The black SUV the victims were using was forced to stop and Nath and Das were attacked, police said.

"Some people had seen the vehicle coming and a few people in the village said that the car might be being used to kidnap children. The two victims had stopped in the area. It was a normal visit," said Assam police Director General Kuldhar Saikia.

"The news spread just like that. The rumor was that some child abductors would come and take their child and they just though that this car was being used to lift children."

The two men were dead when police arrived at the scene on Friday, authorities said. Activists gathered on Monday in Assam's largest city, Guwahati, to demand justice for the victims.

A graphic video of the incident, in which one of the victims is seen covered in blood and pleading for his life, went viral on social media over the weekend.

Police also arrested 25 people for allegedly spreading the kidnapping rumors on social media, Saikia said. It is not the first time that false reports on WhatsApp and Facebook have fueled hysteria in India.

In May, a transgender woman was killed and three others seriously injured in Hyderabad over rumors they were part of a child kidnapping gang.

One day before the transgender attack, a man with mental health problems was beaten up in Pahadishareef, also in southern Hyderabad, over the same rumor.

Police confirmed there was no basis for those allegations.

Hyderabad police were trying to stop the violence with their own social media campaign using the hashtags #HyderabadKillsRumors and #LetThisGoViral, along with workshops to educate the public.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 74119

Reported Deaths: 905
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah17242236
Washington10347101
Marion9207140
Clackamas616077
Umatilla434349
Lane430942
Jackson382531
Malheur240644
Deschutes236815
Yamhill172916
Linn142423
Polk125016
Douglas93018
Klamath8724
Jefferson83411
Benton7917
Union7826
Morrow6587
Lincoln62215
Josephine5374
Wasco53019
Columbia5063
Coos4253
Hood River4011
Clatsop3600
Baker2813
Crook2296
Curry1352
Grant1341
Lake1321
Tillamook1310
Harney991
Wallowa713
Gilliam230
Sherman230
Wheeler30
Unassigned00
Eugene
Broken Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 52°
Corvallis
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 51°
Roseburg
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 52°
North Bend
Few Clouds
53° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 53°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events