Mysterious Child Theft Rumours Keep Law Enforcers In UP On Tenterhooks

LUCKNOW || Uttar Pradesh is caught in a piquant situation with multiple cases of child theft being reported from across the state. While an element of fear pervades the state and children in the state are not feeling at ease with parents troubled, the real trouble has started with many of these cases turning out to be rumours which are spreading via channels of communication.

With even the state capital Lucknow not safe and secure from such fake stories, the 18 reported cases have started raising alarm bells. Till this very moment there is no clarity about what these kids have gone through. And whether they were actually abducted.

The hard reality though is that many a household has seen a pall of gloom descend on them. Neither has the voice of the commoner reached the government nor has the increasing cases of death due to tension at home gone down. Even as some escaped the jaws of death, their struggle to stay alive continues in the Emergency ward of a hospital.

The other fallout to this entire developing story has been that mob justice that is now playing out on the streets of UP. In Kanpur’s Bidhnu, on charges of child theft old citizens were locked up and then beaten up black and blue. Similarly in Shamli a mob targeted a band of five women on charges of child theft.

In Jaunpur district a woman was first targeted, stripped and then in a semi naked condition after being beaten they filmed her and circulated the video on social media to shame her. In most of these alleged cases of law being taken into the hand, the police cases they do not find any iota of truth in what is being spread across the public.

In certain cases where videos are turning viral, the cops in the state are identifying defaulters and consequently cracking the whip.

When the media tried getting an official version from the ADG Law and order, PV Rama Shastri he said with mob lynching cases rising in the name of child theft justice, the cops are keeping a hawk eye on developments.

The top brass in the police establishment in UP has said that any defaulter in the matter will not be spared. Meanwhile the ADG Law has clearly directed all districts to be very strict and act so that such unlawful activity can be stopped in right earnest.

Interestingly the law and order machinery in the state has been puffing and panting to keep trouble mongers at bay. Among the increasing number of people being beaten up are helpless people, including women with a needle of suspicion on them of being child lifters. Even stern warnings and making quick arrests has failed to create fear in the mind of the miscreants.

In latest estimates coming from cops, as steep as 90 people have been arrested for mob violence on suspicion of child theft across UP. Of 46 incidents reported one person was killed and 29 injured. Most cases were reported from Bareilly, Meerut and Agra zones.

The worst hit is the western part of the state, with a majority of mob attacks reported over the last three days. Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Shamli, Ghaziabad and Hapur in West UP have been no different.

Incidents also took place in Baraut, Khekra, Ramala and Agarwal Mandi areas of Baghpat and Shamli and Kithore over Sunday and Monday.

Investigators are also struggling to ascertain the source of these rumours. As rumours rage on, locals in the various districts of the state hope some semblance of peace and calm is restored, ensuring a congenial atmosphere in UP.

–Arijit Bose/Lucknow

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