Karanataka’s Google techie was on long drive with friends when mob killed him because of WhatsApp rumour

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In a chilling development, a techie working for Google in Karnataka was lynched to death on suspicion of being a child-lifter following WhatsApp rumour-mongering. This came just series of mob-lynching incidents based on WhatsApp rumours being reported from across India in the recent weeks.

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In the latest incident, Mohammad Azam, a 32-year-old techie working for Google, was beaten to death by a mob in Bidar on Friday evening. The incident took place in Murki village of Bidar District.

According to police, the victim, Mohammad Azam was on a long drive with his friends, Talha Ismail, Mohammed Salman and Mohammed Basheer. On their way back they stopped on the roadside, where one of them, a Qatari national, offered chocolates to children around. This kind gesture turned out to be the reason for his friend’s murder.

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.

Earlier, 5 persons were killed by villagers in Maharashtra’s Dhule on suspicion of being child kidnappers.

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