In a bid to contain widespread rumours of child kidnapping leading to incidents of lynching in Uttar Pradesh, the state government has instructed all district police chiefs to slap National Security Act (NSA) against those who are found inciting mob or spreading rumours on social media.
More than 20 incidents of mob attacks relating to alleged child kidnapping, reported in Uttar Pradesh in the past two weeks, have become a major problem in the country's most populous state.
Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh told IANS that NSA will be slapped against culprits found involved in such brutal acts. "If found involved (in such acts), we will arrest them and send them to jail. NSA will be invoked against such culprits so that they are jailed at least for a period of one year," said Mr Singh.
He said he has instructed all senior police officers in the state to take tough measures against rumour mongers who are inciting mobs to lynch innocent people. "The law enforcing agency cannot be lenient with such people who pose grave threat to peace. Such people cannot be pardoned," said Mr Singh.
On conspiracy behind incidents of lynching, the state police chief said investigation reveals most such incidents are a result of rumour mongering. Most of the incidents have happened in newly established residential areas of different cities.
"We are sensitising the residents to spike such rumours. The most effective strategy to counter such rumours is take strict action against those found spreading false news about gangs," the police officer said.
In over 20 such incidents in the state, around 45 people have been arrested so far. Most of the victims were either differently abled or ragpickers. In Etah, a woman from Himachal Pradesh was beaten to death by a mob on suspicion of being a child kidnapper.
In a similar incident in Gonda, a mob tied a woman to a tree on suspicion of abducting a child. While the woman was severely beaten, no evidence was later found of her involvement in any case of child abduction.
Such incidents have happened in Meerut, Mathura, Agra, Bareilly, Ghaziabad and other districts in Uttar Pradesh.
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