Ambikapur (Chhattisgarh): Thanks to rumours about a gang of child lifters active in the area, a crowd lynched a mentally-challenged youth in Udaipur Dhab, 15 kilometres from Ambikapur. The crowd chased him and beat him up mercilessly. The youth jumped into the Ghunghutta river adjacent to Bilaspur Road to flee the crowd, but the furious mob did not stop. They pulled him out of the river, beat him up with sticks and threw stones at him. A video of the incident recorded by one of the persons in the crowd went viral. The police arrived on the spot after receiving information about the incident but the crowd had long scattered.
A villager said that the youth, after reaching Mendrakala in the morning, began chasing a woman. The villagers went after him and followed him till the river. On receiving information, villagers from nearby villagers also arrived there, some on their motorcycles. After this, the crowd had beat up the youth.
No one saw anything
The youth’s head was crushed with a stone. There were injuries all over his body. The youth was wearing only a black shirt and underwear and had no belongings on his person. When the police questioned villagers who lived nearby, they were unable to identify the youth or give information about the mob. The police questioned a dhaba owner who had his restaurant on the other side of the bridge, 200 metres from the crime scene, but he also claimed that he had not seen anything.
Because of the rumour of child lifters being active in the area, there have been several incidents of beating up of mentally challenged persons. Three days ago, in Lakhanpur, villagers beat up a man who was walking in the street during the night, thinking he was a child lifter. Police were able to reach the spot on time, thus saving the man’s life. Another similar incident happened on Wednesday in Belkarikha in Darima police station area, where an elderly man was beaten up on suspicions of being a child lifter.
Combing operations on
The viral video of the incident is the only concrete proof the police have to catch the accused. So far, the police have been able to identify only a couple of persons from the video and is carrying out searches to locate them. The police have arrested nine villagers but have not been able to get a statement.
It is tragic: SP
Sarguja SP Sadanand Kumar said that this incident is tragic. He said that the police have received a video of the incident and the accused have been identified. Some have been arrested.