At Least 8 Killed By Murderous Mobs In Less Than A Week Across India

In many of the cases, the mob lynchings were sparked by rumours of child kidnapping or allegations of thievery or sexual harassment.

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At Least 8 Killed By Murderous Mobs In Less Than A Week Across India

Assam Police Chief Kuladhar Saikia and Chief Secretary TY Das brief on the Assam mob lynching (PTI)

New Delhi:  At least eight people were murdered by mobs across India in less than a week, police and government officials said, underscoring the challenge for the authorities to tackle a spate of vigilante killings.

Angry mobs turned on victims in five states, many motivated by rumours of child kidnapping or allegations of thievery or sexual harassment.

In Delhi on Wednesday, a 32-year-old man was beaten to death by four men wielding iron bars who accused the victim of harassing a woman, police said. Three arrests have been made.

On the same day in Jharkhand, two Muslim men accused of stealing cattle were dragged from their car and killed by tribal people in the district of Godda.

Local police chief Rajiv Ranjan said four of the attackers - who were armed with bows and arrows - had been arrested and a search was underway for the others.

In neighbouring West Bengal also on Wednesday, a homeless man accused of abducting children was tied to an electricity pylon and beaten to death with clubs. Police said three arrests have been made.

The rash of murders followed four lynchings on Friday, including a brutal assault caught on camera that prompted outrage and calls for tougher laws on vigilante assailants.

The gruesome video shot in Assam showed two men accused of kidnapping children pleading for their lives as they were dragged from their car and murdered.

That same day, two labourers were killed in Maharashtra some after being accused of theft.

Police have struggled to douse persistent rumours on social media about a child kidnapping ring that motivated six vigilante killings across India in May. Officials say no such trafficking network exists.

Public awareness campaigns have been launched urging Indians to ignore videos circulating on Facebook and WhatsApp purporting to show children being abducted by men.

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