Karnataka: Techie lynched after Whatsapp rumour of child-lifting, 30 arrested

17 July, 2018, 01:39 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Mohammad Azam and his three friends had come to visit their friend Mohammed Bashir Afroz at Handikera village in Bidar on Sunday

Deceased Mohammed Azam, a software engineer working with Google and his two friends, were visiting their friend Mohammed Bashir in Mandikera village in Karnataka's Bidar district.

The four men managed to escape in their vehicle but residents of the area called their friends in nearby Murki village and asked them to stop the auto. "They are child kidnappers". Writhing in pain and being careful not to further stress left his or right hand, he played a video where they were seen parking the auto near the water body when the mob started attacking them. Three of his other friends -including a Qatari national-were severely injured in the mob attack, reports NDTV. "When Afroz was explaining that he was a local and we all were there on holidaying, a mob of more than 100 people, armed with sticks and stones, rushed towards us branding us as child kidnappers", said Noor Mohammed (21), a businessman from Barkas in Old City of Hyderabad. After the rendezvous, when the three of them were ready to leave, one of the guests distributed chocolates that he had brought from Qatar, to children. "The person who circulated the message, Amar Patil, and the administrator of the group, Manoj Biradar, have been arrested", he said.

Azam had pleaded with the villagers requesting them not to attack him, but they ignored his pleas and threw boulders at him, Zaibunnissa said at the hospital here.

She said the four men, sensing danger, fled in the vehicle they were travelling in but by that time some people had taken videos and photographs of them and circulated it on WhatsApp.

Salham, one of the victims at a hospital in Hyderabad Saturday.

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The SP has formed a team of Circle Inspector Dilip Sagar and S. Amaresh to investigate the case. The mob was raining stones and lathis on the other three persons after dragging them out of the vehicle.

He said 10 policemen, including himself, tried to form a ring around the victims, but the mob attacked them too.

The auto in which they were travelling hit a two-wheeler and fell into a ditch, following which locals reached the spot and began assaulting the men. Though Basheer, a local among the four, tried to pacify the mob, all attempts went futile.

WhatsApp put out advertisements in newspapers last week announcing an "education campaign" on how to spot fake news, adding it would also start labelling forwarded messages. Police also carried out raids in surrounding areas, where some people were reported to be hiding.

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