Police fire in the air to disperse lynch protesters in Jharkhand

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The violence was triggered by the circulation of WhatsApp messages of "child lifters" being active in the Kolkhan area of Jamshedpur. Villagers allegedly turned on the policemen and attacked them, leaving some of them injured.

From suspicions of cow salughter to beef consumption and now "child lifters", India has become synonymous with lynchland. Das had strongly condemned the incidents and directed the officials to identify the miscreants who spread rumours about child lifters and those taking law in their own hands. They speak Hindi, Bangla and Malyali. "If you happen to see any stranger near your house immediately inform local police as he could be a member of the child lifting gang,".

Last week, three persons were killed on the same charges in Seraikela-Kharsawa district. Three more youths fell prey to mob violence in Bagbera on the same evening. The mob was so violent that they did not listen, even when the local police tried to intervene. Hindustan Times reported that East Singhbhum rural SP, Shailendra Burnwal, announced that they were considering shutting down social media for a couple of days till the rumours died down. Meanwhile, police also advised people not to believe in rumors so that such incidents can be avoided. The videos of the mob violence show numerous faces of those involved, making arrests easy. But in the current case of Jharkhand, it is evident that the administration and police ignored several warning signs; by acting in an appropriate and timely manner, proactively squelching the rumour, they could have stopped it from boiling over into violence.

On Monday, two persons were arrested in connection with the Sobhapur incident - Dharnidhar Jyotishi and Dinesh Mahato alias Tudu Mahato, both of who were accused in relation to the lynchings.

On Friday, residents in different areas near Jamshedpur in East Singbhum district and Seraikela-Kharsawan district, where Thursday's attacks took place, staged protests against the killings, downing shutters in shops and blocking roads. "The Rapid Action Force and additional forces have been deployed", Asish Batra, IG Jharkhand Police, who is camping in Jamshedpur told IANS.