News Analysis |
An Indian transgender has been beaten to death over rumors on the social media sphere that the person was the member of a child-lifting gang. This tragedy is the latest in a series of killings propelled by fake social media news.
The member of the transgender community named, Chandraiah, was undergoing treatment in Osmania General Hospital. Commissioner of Police, Anjani Kumar said that the rumor was spread through a WhatsApp group and at least 15 people have been arrested so far.
Both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana police have clarified that there is no such movement of an inter-state gang and there have been no cases of kidnapping reported here.
“A transgender who was beaten by a mob over rumors of a child-lifting gang on WhatsApp, succumbed to injuries yesterday, 15 people were arrested,” said Commissioner of Police Anjani Kumar on the same. An investigation is underway to find out more people involved in this case.
The Commissioner while speaking to the media said that spreading of disinformation in the social media sphere should be discouraged and added that if any such rumors come to the fore than the police authorities should be informed immediately.
Fifteen people have been arrested after a trans woman was killed by a mob on the basis of fake WhatsApp rumors. After Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka, another incident of mob lynching over fake WhatsApp rumors came to light.
In Hyderabad’s old city area, a group of transgender women were attacked by a mob who believed that they were part of a dacoit gang out to kidnap children, based on WhatsApp forwards. One of the women was killed by the mob. The incident took place in Chandrayangutta. According to the police, four transgender women had traveled to Hyderabad from Telangana’s Mahabubnagar district and were seeking alms during Ramzan.
Close to midnight on Saturday, local residents stopped them and started questioning them. The mob then attacked them, and two of the women were badly injured. A video of the incident shows the police trying to ward off the angry mob even as two people lay motionless on the ground.
Madhu, a 27-year-old who lived in a tribal colony in Attapady forest, was beaten under the suspicion that he was a thief.
According to reports, the injured were shifted to the Osmania General Hospital, where one of them succumbed to her injuries. Her body has been shifted to the mortuary for an autopsy. One other person was grievously injured.
On 12th May, A 65-year-old woman was lynched by a mob in southern India who believed that she was a child trafficker, police said on Friday, announcing the arrests of some two dozen suspects. The crime took place in the state of Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvannamalai district on Wednesday following rumours and false messages on Facebook and WhatsApp about the kidnapping of children in the region.
Read more: Fake news strikes again: Mob kill 5 in India
The woman, who was travelling with her relatives in a car, had stopped to ask directions to a local temple when she saw some children playing in the area and gave them chocolates, local police officer K Neelavadakkan said. “Villagers who have been unnerved by the fake messages on child abductions gathered around the car and started shouting at them, accusing them of being child kidnappers,” he said.
“They managed to drive away but were blocked by mobs a short distance away, where they were dragged out, punched and kicked, and beaten by sticks. The woman died on the scene, while four others, including the driver, were seriously injured,” he added. Neelavadakkan said that there had been no incidents of kidnapping or child trafficking in the area, but rumours were circulating wildly.
Last month, a man was mistaken for a thief and beaten to death by crowds in the same state. Madhu, a 27-year-old who lived in a tribal colony in Attapady forest, was beaten under the suspicion that he was a thief. Madhu died inside the police van while being taken to the police station. Last year, mobs killed six people in the eastern state of Jharkhand on suspicions that they had kidnapped children.
A message has gone viral on social media claiming members of Pardhi gang who are kidnapping children have entered the two states. The message also says the gang is killing children to harvest their organs. Both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana police have clarified that there is no such movement of an inter-state gang and there have been no cases of kidnapping reported here.
The police are also conducting awareness campaigns across villages and appealing to people to not believe in these false rumours. The police have appealed people not to take law in their lands and warned them of strict action. The police have also warned of strict action against people who are spreading these messages and videos on social media.