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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

30 Indians involved in a new lynching

Por Olivia Rosario Rodríguez

At least 30 people were arrested by the Indian Police after a man was lynched to death by an angry mob. Everything seems to indicate that the main reason was rumors spread in the instant messaging application ‘WhatsApp’. The man and his friends made the mistake of distributing chocolates to some girls, a fact that provoked the multitudinous fury.

This is the most recent case of mob killings linked to the messaging application, which belongs to the Facebook company The man was called Mohammed Azam and was attacked along with three other friends in Bidar, a city in the state of Karnataka, in the southwest from India. His colleagues were seriously injured after the attack and are in stable condition in the hospital, but he did not suffer the same fate. The blows cost him his life.

Police sources in the district informed the press that the men were driving in the area when they stopped on the road to hand out chocolates to some students. Suddenly one of the girls shouted, which alarmed the local inhabitants who, predisposed by rumors spread on social networks about gangs that kidnap girls, confronted the men and accused them of wanting to kidnap the girls.

Immediately the men tried to flee, but were attacked by a crowd of approximately 2,000 people just a few kilometers from the site, as the news was spread by WhatsApp. The vehicle they were traveling in was left out of the way after the crowd took them out of the car and hit them.

So far it is not known why they were giving chocolates to the girls, therefore, it is unknown if there was a bad intention or not. In this regard the local police continues to investigate.

The deputy prime minister of Karnataka, G. Parameshwara, condemned the fateful lynching and asked the police to take action against the perpetrators. He also urged people not to heed the rumors and take the law into their own hands. In any situation, he said, they must report the suspicious activities to the Police.

So far 30 people have been arrested in connection with the case, 28 for being involved in the violence and two for spreading false rumors, including the administrator of the WhatsApp group. And is that the fake news has become viral through the application, for example, last week was published a full-page notice in the newspapers in English and Hindi, giving readers 10 tips to identify messages that may seem false.