Dhule Lynching Takes Death Toll Due To Fake News To 23: 5 Things To Know

BOOM traced 18 cases of mob lynching triggered by child-lifting rumours in India. Death toll has reached 23 with the Dhule lynching.

The latest incident of mob lynching on July 1 in Maharashtra's Dhule district has taken the death toll to 23 in the first six months of 2018. This latest incident in Rainpada village led to the killing of 5 people and is said to have been triggered by social media rumours of child-lifting.

The Dhule mob lynching is the 18th incident reported in 2018 in which suspicions of child-lifting has resulted in killing of people. In the absence of official data, BOOM has compiled these 18 incidents from news reports and phone calls made to district police officials in some cases to confirm the details reported in the media. Click here to access BOOM's compilation.

Lynching cases triggered by child lifting rumours have been reported before in 2018 in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Assam, West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Tripura and recently in Maharashtra.

Here, is what we know about the Dhule lynching case.

1) Dhule is the first incident of mob lynching triggered by child abduction rumours recorded in Maharashtra in 2018.

2) It has recorded the maximum number of deaths from a single incident of the kind.

3) Like most of the previous cases, the victims were strangers who came under suspicions of child-lifting based on WhatsApp rumours.

The victims who belonged to a nomadic tribe, were seen getting down from a state transport bus in the village of Rainpada and speaking to a girl. The crowd gathered at the Sunday market mistook them for a child kidnapping gang, dragged them to the village panchayat office and beat them. Rainpada is a tribal dominated village and WhatsApp rumours on child kidnapping were going around in the village.

The victims were Raju Bhonsle, Dadarao Bhonsle, Bharat Bhonsle, Bharat Malve and Agnu Ingole who belonged to the Nath Panthi Davari Gosavi nomadic tribe from Solapur’s Khewa village.

The families of the victims had refused to receive the bodies and have demanded for justice and compensation. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis have said that the families would receive Rs 5 lakh as compensation.

4) Police investigation has led to arrest of 23 people and the accused have been booked for murder under IPC 302 and rioting.

Maharashtra DGP Datta Padsaligkar also made an appeal to the public to not believe rumours and to inform the police about such incidents.

5) Within hours of the Dhule incident, another mob attack happened at Malegaon in Nashik district of Maharashtra. Again based on suspicions of child rumour, a family of five including a 2 year old boy were beaten up by a mob. BOOM accessed two unrelated videos that were circulating in Malegaon which have created fear among the villagers about child abduction. Click here to read the story.

Police was informed about the assault at around 11 pm on Sunday who came to the family's rescue.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Supreme Court also observed that mob lynching, irrespective of the motive, is a crime and that the states are responsible to prevent mob lynching. The apex court would give guidelines to the states and centre to tackle the issue.

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