Woman Suspected to be ‘Child Lifter’ Lynched in Gujarat, 3 Injured

The violence was triggered by WhatsApp rumours about ‘child lifter women gangs’.

2 min read

Video Editor: Vishal Kumar

Triggered by rumours floating on WhatsApp about ‘women gangs’ involved in ‘child lifting’, two incidents of violence were reported from Gujarat on Tuesday, 26 June. In the first, a woman was lynched on the suspicion of being a ‘child lifter’ and in the other incident, a woman was harassed and assaulted on the same pretext.

Lynching Triggered by Rumours

A 40-year-old woman, identified as Shanta Devi, was lynched by a frenzied mob in the Vadaj area of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, on Tuesday, 26 June, on the suspicion of being a child lifter, reported Indian Express.

Devi, accompanied by three other women, had left her relative’s house in Sardarnagar area of Ahmedabad in an autorickshaw. The mob attacked the women inside the auto, pulled them out and brutally beat them up.

Traffic cops intervened and rescued the women, but it was too late for Devi who was declared brought dead at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. 
Vadaj Police Inspector JA Rathwa told The Times of India

The other three injured women were admitted to the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital.

According to the complaint filed by Shanta Devi’s sister-in-law, Anasidevi, (who was accompanying her), they were attacked near the Vadaj area at around 2 pm. The frenzied mob was accusing them of being “child lifters”, she said. They had boarded the auto from the Naranpura crossing and were attacked by the mob when they reached Vadaj.

According to Anasidevi, the mob viciously attacked Shantadevi and two other women, rendering them unconscious. The crowd fled as soon as the police and 108 EMRI Ambulance arrived at the spot.

Speaking to The Times of India, Police commissioner AK Singh said, “A case of murder and rumour mongering would be registered against unknown persons.”

According to The Times of India Ahmedabad edition, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch), Deepan Bhandra has warned people against sharing provocative videos on WhatsApp.

Speaking to the daily, he said, “The video, which has caused several cases of mob attacks, is from Karachi in Pakistan. People must not be influenced by such videos.”

Similar Incident Reported From Surat

In another incident, a 45-year-old woman fell victim to rumour mongering.

Labhuben Dinesh Tejani was attending a family function in the Varachha area of Surat. When she stepped out to buy balloons for her three-year-old daughter, people assumed her to be a child lifter.

A mob quickly surrounded her and started accusing her of kidnapping the child. They pulled the child away from her and some men allegedly slapped her a few times.

Soon, the Varachha Police arrived at the spot and took Labhuben and her child to the police station. Her husband, Dinesh Tejani, arrived and explained the situation. No FIR has been lodged in the matter.

(With inputs from The Indian Express and The Times of India.)

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