In yet another incident of lynching fuelled by rumours on WhatsApp, five people were killed in Maharashtra's Dhule district on suspicions of being child lifters.
The Indian Express reports that they were attacked by residents of the tribal village of Rainpada in Sakri taluka after the victims were getting off from a state transport bus. The villagers, who were visiting the Sunday market, allegedly attacked them when one of the five men tried to speak to a girl from the village.
The police have said that it was a mob of over 35 people.
The newspaper quoted the police as saying, "The victims were nomads who had come to seek alms at the weekly bazaar."
The police have also said that WhatsApp messages about child lifters had gone viral in the village leading to the attack on the five men, who were ultimately killed.
The Hindu reports that the mob did not try to find the identity of the victims and dragged them to the Rainpada Gram Panchayat office where they were beaten.
The report says that two people from the police team, that arrived at the spot, were also injured.
Mob lynchings on rumours of child-lifting seem to have become common with several such gruesome killings being reported from across the country recently.
One person was killed and three other were wounded in Tripura last week on rumours of them being child lifters. All the four men were small time traders.
A beggar woman was killed last week in Gujarat by a mob that beat her mercilessly, on the suspicion of having lifted a child from the Vadaj area of Ahmedabad.