Bhopal/Balaghat: Rumours about alleged kidney thieves being active in the area circulated on social media led to violence in Kirnapur of Balaghat district on Monday.
Two youths from Balaghat town were caught by villagers of Nevarkala on suspicion of being kidney thieves and thrashed badly. One of them suffered a fracture of the knee, police said.
When police rescued them after getting information, the villagers confronted the police accusing it of saving the ‘thieves’.
The situation then turned violent as villagers hurled stones after which police had to use mild force to disperse the crowd. The mob also burnt the motorcycle of the youths after the police escorted them from the spot.
SOCIAL MEDIA FUEL
Police said that the incident was fuelled by social media rumours as a video showing an alleged kidney theft gang was being circulated in Balaghat and surrounding districts since past two to three months.
The villagers in the area are so scared that they have stopped going out at night. They are also suspicious of outsiders and often confront them.
The police has been trying to douse the rumours by putting up posters and banners and making public announcements at weekly markets.
Police to take steps to control rumour mongering
‘The situation in Nevarkala was controlled, but we would be taking more steps focusing on interaction with people to control the rumour mongering. We will convince villagers that their fears are unfounded and they shouldn’t take the law into their hands,’ Jaydevan A, superintendent of police, Balaghat