Nashik/ Pune: Five persons including a two-year-old child were rescued from a violent mob of thousands wanting to lynch them in Malegaon on Sunday night, on suspicion that they were part of a child-lifting gang.
This was merely 12 hours after a mob in Dhule had lynched five people over similar rumours.
According to Nashik police, a mob pounced upon the victims in Azad Nagar locality in Malegaon at 11 pm on Sunday. The victims Gajanan Sahebrao Gire, his wife Sindhubai, their two-year-old child, Sindhubai’s sister Anusaya and another relative Yogesh – all hailing from Parbhani district - were ostensibly begging along Malegaon’s Ali Akbar Road area to pay for their return fare back home. They are labourers and had run out of money.
According to the police, the incident began after their interaction with a 14-year-old boy.
A crowd suspecting they were child lifters, swooped down upon them. To escape from the clutches of the mob, the five took shelter in a nearby building.
Additional SP (Malegaon) Harsh Poddar said, “We immediately rushed to the spot after getting information about it. After great difficulty we managed to pacify the mob and rescue the victims.”
The police had to face the brunt of the mob’s fury as the crowd began pelting stones at them. After the local police found they were unable to control the mob, Poddar along with additional force from the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) reached the spot. The victims were sent to the farthest police station for security. The police had to resort to lathicharge to control the mob as they attacked police and local religious leaders (Imams) when they tried to pacify them. The mob also overturned a police van. No police official was injured, police said.
An FIR was registered against unknown persons for attempt to murder, rioting, assault under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Azad Nagar police station.
Don’t believe in rumours: DGP
Director General of Police Datta Padsalgikar has appealed to people not to believe in rumours and inform the local police station if they come across any rumour. “It is advisable that no one should forward the received messages/ rumours on WhatsApp or other social media without verification. The public should not indulge in aggressive behaviour or assault etc as it will lead to registration of attempt to murder case against them,” he warned on Monday.