The attacks on innocents by mobs have suddenly intensified in various areas of the country, especially in relation to ‘child theft’ cases.
Recently, in Delhi’s Harsh Vihar, a crowd beat up a mute-deaf pregnant woman on suspicions of being a child-lifter.
An elderly woman carrying her grandson in Loni, Ghaziabad was beaten up by people on the suspicion that she was kidnapping the child. In Sambhal, a man taking his nephew to the hospital was also beaten up based on similar doubts, while the girl’s maternal uncle was attacked in Rewari.
Such cases have been going on for the last several years, and they are absolutely terrible. Over the last few years, mobs have killed dozens of people on suspicion of child theft. In most of these cases, surprisingly, no one knows whose child was stolen. People don’t try to find out what’s going on before they act on rumours. Due to fear, allegedly people in many places have stopped sending their children to school.
These incidents of child theft follow a similar pattern. First, a WhatsApp message in an area goes viral, which states that a child theft gang is active. The message further suggests that this gang steals children and sells their organs or misbehaves with the innocent. Videos are shown to authenticate the message. These videos are usually edited to suit the rumour.
The result is that a group of people who scare easily, end up attacking weak people by calling them ‘child thieves.’
Actually, I believe, every person in our country is afraid of the law on a personal level but once he becomes a part of the crowd, he starts underestimating the law or takes it in his own hands. People often feel that no one gets any punishment for an act done collectively. Secondly, because of the rumours of child theft, an atmosphere of fear is established, which is expressed in the form of mob violence.
With this, two things should immediately come on the agenda of the Government’s administration. Firstly, the theft of children and rumours related to it should be dealt with strictly. Secondly, for this purpose, those who use social media as a weapon should be forced to repent for a long time. In my opinion, the administration will be able to succeed in this only when the common people become conscious and aware through facts and truth.