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India: Police arrest over 100 suspects over mob lynching

Ankita Mukhopadhyay
April 21, 2020

The mob mistook three men for being thieves before launching the fatal attack. The attack is the latest of a string of mob lynching incidents over the past year in India.

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Image: Reuters/V. Sivaram

Police in the Indian state of Maharashtra said Monday that 110 people were arrested for their involvement in a deadly mob attack that saw three men beaten to death last week. 

On the night of April 16, the men were travelling by car through Gadchinchale village, in Palghar district, when they were attacked by an angry mob who mistook them for thieves. 

The mob was reportedly mobilized using social media, where the rumor is also believed to have originated. 

The state government has ordered a probe into the incident and suspended two policemen.

Read moreIndia struggles with religious lynchings

Latest of a string of mob attacks

Mob violence has led to the deaths of hundreds of people in recent years. On several occasions, mobs were mobilized after hearing misinformation spread on digital platforms, particularly on WhatsApp. Here are five instances of mob lynching in India over the last year:

  • Man lynched by mob on the suspicion of being a child abductor
    In September 2019, a man was lynched by a mob in the state of West Bengal. The mob reportedly believed that he was a child abductor. This was the second case of mob lynching in West Bengal since the state passed an anti-lynching bill.
  •  Man killed after accused of 'slaughtering' a cow
    In September, a mob of 10-15 villagers killed a man the district of Khunti in the state of Jharkhand after he was rumored to have "slaughtered" a cow. The mob also attacked two more people. The cow is considered a sacred animal for Hindus in India.
  •  Brothers attacked over rumors of 'child lifting'
    The month of August 2019 saw 20 cases of mob violence in the state of Uttar Pradesh in just three days. One of these incidents was a mob attack on two brothers, who were taking their nephew to the hospital. A mob brutally attacked them on the suspicion of them being "child lifters." One of the brothers died at the scene while the other survived.
  • Three men killed for allegedly stealing cattle
    In July, three men were lynched by a mob in Bihar's Saran district after the mob accused them of stealing cattle.
  • The murder of Tabrez Ansar
    In June 2019, Tabrez Ansari was killed by a mob of more than 10 people after being accused of stealing a motorcycle. He was tied to a pole, repeatedly beaten, and forced to chant Hindu slogans such as 'Jai Shri Ram' and 'Jai Hanuman'. Two police officers were suspended for dereliction of duty.

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