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27 lynching’s in one year: A matter of serious concern

By Deepika

New Delhi, July 6: In the recent few weeks, the spread of fake news, especially about child-lifters on prowl, have caused panic and unrest across the country leading to the death of many in various mob lynching episodes.

A cartoon by Sathish Acharya

According to the reports, at least 27 people have been killed in the country due to several fake media videos and messages containing similar themes of outsiders stealing children in a span of one year.

The latest incident of mob violence occurred in Maharashtra's Dhule district on Sunday. Five men were lynched by a mob over suspicion that they were part of a gang of "child lifters".


The first incident was reported from Tamil Nadu in the first week of May followed by a few from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. In June, two persons, including a Mumbai based sound engineer, were beaten to death in Assam.

The top court had said it plans to issue guidelines to the Centre as well as all states on how to deal with this grisly phenomenon.

The government sent out a stern warning to WhatsApp asking the Facebook-owned messaging platform to immediately stop the spread of "irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumours and provocation" on its platform.

A day after the government voiced concern over WhatsApp messages triggering lynching in various parts of the country, the US-based social media platform on Wednesday said fake news, misinformation, and hoaxes can be checked by the government, civil society and technology companies working together.


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