The father of a 2-year-old girl was beaten up by a mob, which assumed that he was a child-lifter in Mangaluru’s Ujire town on Thursday evening. The mob suspected him to be a child lifter when they noticed that the child was crying.
The 30-year-old man, Khalid, was in an auto with his daughter, who was crying because she had been scolded and beaten by her father, after which two passersby on a bike noticed that the child was crying and decided to follow them, according to News18.
Suspicion grew because when Khalid was confronted, he refused to tell them why his child was crying and did not tell them that she was his daughter. Presumably, due to the spread of fake news through social media about child-lifters, two men raised an alarm, claiming he is a child abductor and began beating him up, The News Minute reported.
Soon, a crowd gathered and more people began to hit the father, after which, he began to cry out helplessly that it was his child, the report added. According to The New Indian Express, the driver who ferried Khalid called up the Ujjire police, who detained him while the mob continued to accuse him of child theft.
After taking the man and the girl to the station, the police realised that the child was indeed Khalid’s. Following this, the crowd dispersed and no complaint was registered either by the locals or by Khalid.
Police claimed the father, a resident of Kakkinje, had come to Ujire town in a drunken stupor with his 2-year-old child. While heavily drunk, he was wandering aimlessly on the street and people noticed him beating the child whenever she cried. Assuming he was a child lifter, more people gathered to question him. Meanwhile, some of the locals immediately informed the Belthangadi police who quickly rushed to the spot, reported The Times of India.
The police then took Khalid to the police station, where his wife confirmed that he was the father of the child. He was released soon after.
This incident comes in the backdrop of various such episodes witnessed across India, where innocent people have been mistaken as child-lifters and brutally thrashed, in some cases to death, due to fake WhatsApp forwards and rumours.
Recently, in Chennai, two labourers were attacked by a mob but were rescued before things took a gruesome turn. In Assam, three priests were rescued in the nick of time from a frenzied mob by army men.
(Written by Arnabjit Sur)