Indian state cuts internet after three new lynchings

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The mob gathered on roads as they were told about the men, and without any confirmation, they proceeded through the roads and made a decision to collectively mete out the punishment by physical assault. "Based on the posts, the mob suspected the victims to be child lifters and thrashed them to death", M Ramkumar, Superintendent of Police, Dhule, told The Indian Express.

The three men were driving through the area in a van, when the mob of nearly a thousand people gathered and attacked them. Their vehicle was also badly damaged in the attack.

The latest incident saw five people being lynched by a mob on Sunday morning in Maharashtra's Dhule district due to suspicions that they were part of a gang of "child-lifters". Tension prevailed in Subroom sub-division after the incident.

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"Sukanta Chakraborty, 36, accompanied by two government employees, was attacked when he was appealing to the public on behalf of the administration not to heed to rumours". Earlier 2 youths were killed in Assam's Karbi Anglong district by villagers after rumours pervaded on social media about the presence of child kidnappers in Dokmoka in West Karbi Anglong.

The State Director General of Police, Akhil Kumar Shukla, said that there is "no child-lifting or organised human organ trade racket in the State". As the situation went out of control, the TSR personnel fired several rounds in the air and also burst tear gas shells, but the mob continued to beat the men.

All three vendors, their driver and a security man were seriously injured and shifted to a hospital in Agartala, where Jahir Khureshi, 30, succumbed to his injuries, the official said.

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Similar incidents of people being beaten, harassed and attacked by mobs have been reported from Amarpur (in southern Tripura), Bishalgarh, Arundhuti Nagar, Bodhjungnagar and Khowai (in Western Tripura) besides in capital Agartala.

A day ago, in a widely-circulated video, a mob was purportedly seen beating a man, who is yet to be identified, on the suspicion that he was a child kidnapper.

"The administration has chose to cut off the internet and mobile messaging services for the next 48 hours.to stop rumour-mongering", said Smriti Ranjan Das, a police spokesman in the tribal-dominated state of Tripura. He also asked people not to share such news on social media without confirmation.

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