New Delhi, July 5: Reacting strongly over the recent mob lynching incidents, the Centre on Thursday wrote to all states and Union Territories(UT), asking them to take measures to prevent the mishaps, fuelled by child lifting rumours, being circulated on WhatsApp and other social media platforms. Issuing an advisory, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) urged the states as well as the UTs to keep a watch for “early detection of such rumours and initiate effective measures for countering them”. Also Read - Emraan Hashmi on Sushant Singh Rajput's Death Case: My Heart Goes to The Family, It Has Turned Into Toxic Social Media Circus
“States & UTs have been asked to direct District Administrations to identify vulnerable areas and conduct community outreach programmes for creating awareness and building confidence,” the advisory reads. Also Read - Assam University Student Held for 'Fake' Facebook Post on Flood Relief Appeal by CM Sonowal
It was also stressed that complaints of child abduction or kidnapping should be properly investigated to instill confidence among the affected persons. Also Read - How Twitter Has Miserably Failed to Tame Parody Accounts & Fake News in India
Notably, the Centre’s advisory came a day after Supreme Court termed lynchings as ‘Unacceptable’. Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra warned against linking mob violence to religion or caste. “It (mob lynching) is beyond law and order problem. It is a crime. It is not confined to any motive,” Misra said suggesting that it is not only cow vigilantism but also child lifting rumour among others.
Earlier on Wednesday, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had asked owners of instant messaging app WhatsApp to work closely with the IT Ministry and remain “accountable, responsible and vigilant” towards ensuring that nobody misuses their platform.
Reportedly, more than 20 people have been lynched in different parts of the country over suspicion of being child lifters. Last week, five people were lynched to death by villagers in Maharashtra’s Dhule district after videos of child lifters were actively circulated on a WhatsApp group. A similar incident was reported from Tripura, wherein one person was lynched while two others were injured after a mob suspected them to be child lifters. Lynchings were also reported from Assam, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
(With agency inputs)