In yet another case of lynching over child-lifting rumours, Mohammed Azam Ahmed, a 32-year-old techie who was working on a project with Google in Hyderabad, was allegedly beaten to death by a mob in Karnataka's Bidar district on Friday, 13 July.
Three others were severely injured in the attack and are currently admitted in a Hyderabad hospital. A police official told The Indian Express that 30 people believed to have been part of the mob have been arrested, along with three others who spread the child-lifting rumours on WhatsApp, including the administrator of the group.
The incident took place when Ahmed, a software engineer, was travelling to Handikera village in Aurad taluk with Noor Mohammed and Mohammed Salman, along with a Qatari national Salham Eidal Kubaisi for a social function, according to media reports.
Around 4:30 pm, the four of them stopped for tea and it was there that Kubaisi offered some chocolates to the school children who were around. This fuelled the child-kidnapping rumours, The Indian Express reported.
While the four of them initially managed to escape in their car, the locals took their photographs and alerted those in the adjacent village about the presence of "kidnappers" via messages on WhatsApp.
Those in the adjacent village blocked the road with a tree, and as the four men attempted to manoeuvre their vehicle around the tree, it ended up falling into a ditch. The mob then caught hold of them and thrashed them.
Regarding the incident, Ahmed Balala, an AIMIM MLA from Hyderabad's Malakpet was quoted by The Indian Express as saying:
I met the victims and they said that two policemen reached the spot but could not prevent the mob from beating them up.
The family of the deceased requested the Telangana government to intervene and take up the matter with the Karnataka government for thorough investigation and arrest of the culprits. "We want justice," they told PTI.