Seven persons, including a telecom engineer and three men with mental disabilities, were allegedly beaten by locals on the suspicion of being child-lifters in different incidents in Uttar Pradesh, police said on Friday.
Four incidents were reported from Rae Bareli district and one from Kanpur.
The men with mental disabilities were beaten up by locals on Friday in Kanpur's Simauli village when some men suspected them to be child lifters, Station House Officer, Simauli, Gyan Singh said.
They were admitted to a local hospital and discharged after treatment, he said, adding that raids are being conducted to arrest the culprits.
Superintendent of Police (rural) Pradyumna Singh said a case has been registered against 20-25 people.
In Rae Bareli, Amar Kumar Verma (35), an engineer working in a private telecom company, was allegedly attacked by a mob of around 50 people when he was returning from Kesarua village within the Lalganj Kotwali police station limits after checking a mobile tower on Wednesday, they added.
A case was registered on a complaint from Mr Verma and some villagers were arrested.
The residents of Madauli village under the Khairo police station area allegedly assaulted an elderly man from Bihar, suspecting him to be a child-lifter, on Wednesday morning, police said.
A police team rushed to the spot, rescued the man and took him to a community health centre, from where he was referred to the district hospital.
In another case, people caught hold of a woman, who they claimed was dragging a 10-year-old girl, in the Gorahi locality within the Salon police station limits, police said, adding that she was being interrogated.
In Majharganj Majre Bahai village under Lalganj Kotwali, a young man, who had got down from his SUV after it developed a problem, was targeted by the locals, suspecting him to be a child-lifter, police said.
The villagers threw stones at the man, who somehow managed to convince them of his innocence, they added.
The Uttar Pradesh police has taken a serious note of the increase in the number of cases of mob violence over rumours of child-lifting in different parts of the state.
Director General of Police OP Singh has said the stringent National Security Act (NSA) will be invoked against those spreading rumours.