The incident occurred on Friday in Murki village of Bidar District. 3 people from Hyderabad were visiting their friend in Murki.
Victims, identified as Mohammad Azam, Talha Ismail, Mohammed Salman and Mohammed Basheer, had gone out for a drive. On their way back they stopped on the roadside, where one of them, a Qatar national, offered chocolates to children around.
The villagers mistook the group for child snatchers and sent an alert on the village WhatsApp group group called ‘Murki brothers.’ A crowd gathered, an argument started which progressed to full-blown scuffle. Though Basheer, a local among the four, tried to pacify the mob, all attempts went futile.
In order to escape the wrath of the villagers, they tried to escape in their car but accidentally hit a bike en route. The car toppled off the road after which a mob arrived, dragged Azam and hit him with stones and sticks. 3 policemen rushed to the spot to contain the mob.
Police had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse the crowd. However, Azam, who was hit on his head, died on the spot while 2 others were severely injured.
The Superintendent of Police (SP) of Bidar district, D Devaraja, told Janta Ka Reporter, “The crowd could only be brought to control after we enforced the lathi-charge. We’re still investigating though, everything necessary would be done.”
“They had gone out for a drive. My brother gave chocolates to children. We don’t know what their parents thought but several villagers gathered and beat them. How can they think they were kidnappers?” Mohammad Azam’s brother Akram was quoted by NDTV. Appealing to the government to stop mob killings, Akram said, “My brother was a software engineer, father of a 2-year-old. He was just a regular guy”.
Around 32 persons, including a WhatsApp group admin and the person who shared the video, were arrested. The incident, meanwhile, has sent shockwaves across the country. Social media users have been expressing their anger and outrage on what has become a big malaise plaguing the Indian society.
#Google #employee gets #lynched in a village near #Bidar on rumors of being a #child #lifter.Giving chocolates to children is now a dangerous act.I urge everyone to refrain from any kindness in this mad country where you can be lynched anytime for anything.#WhatsappKills
— Anup Nair (@anup_s_nair) July 15, 2018
This has to stop.. Some people trying to destabilize .. Where is the vigilante when people are dying of hunger?? Strict punishment is a must for all of them.. Shame
Karnataka: Google techie lynched in Bidar on suspicion of ‘child lifter’, 2 others injured https://t.co/0DdqBgwd1z
— Indian (@sumansatpathy) July 15, 2018
Yup, that’s India for you. Want to have some revenge? Just spread a message saying the person is a child lifter. No need of proof. Mob will act on your behalf.https://t.co/PvAZOjkNOH
— CryptoNalyst (@CryptoNalyst) July 15, 2018
— Shankar Raj (@shanksnews) July 15, 2018
Earlier, 5 persons were killed by villagers in Maharashtra’s Dhule on suspicion of being child kidnappers.