New Delhi, July 2: Dhule Collector on Monday downplayed the WhatsApp rumour on child-lifters roaming around in the city saying that cause of the mob violence on Sunday is unknown. The Collector said that the cause of what prompted the mob to attack the five beggars, mistaking them for being child-lifters, is not clear yet. In the Dhule incident, the victims had reportedly come for the weekly village market and were moving around. One of them was seen speaking with a young girl and they were mistaken as kidnappers, prompting the crowd to brutally attack them.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday termed the Dhule lynching as unfortunate and said that an investigation in the matter has already begun. Speaking to news agency ANI on the lynching of five people on the suspicion of being child-lifters, Fadnavis said, “The incident is unfortunate. We have already begun investigation in the matter…” he said. (Also read: Tripura Police Launches Awareness Drive)

The Maharashtra CM also added that the state government has decided to give “Rs 5 lakh as compensation to victims’ families”. Speaking on the same, Maharashtra DGP Datta Padsalgikar appealed to the people to not believe such rumours and inform the police if such incident comes to their notice. “I would like to appeal to all that if a similar incident comes to anyone’s notice they must inform the police. Kindly do not believe in rumors circulating on social media and WhatsApp. We will take strict action,” he said.

The Mumbai Police have so far arrested 23 people in connection with the Dhukle lynching case. The incident had taken place at Rainpada, 25 kilometers from Pimpalner in Dhule at around 11.30 AM on Sunday. “Twenty-three people have been arrested. We have also identified some more accused in this case. Five teams have been formed to identify the accused,” said Dhule SP M Ramkumar told ANI. The officer said that they have collected videos and photographs of the incident from people to identify more accused, reported DNA.

The shocked families of five persons who were lynched on Sunday after being suspected to be kidnappers refused to accept their bodies on Monday, seeking justice and compensation here. Simultaneously, the Congress targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government and police, blaming them for failure to prevent the incident.