Child-lifting rumours fan attacks in Uttar Pradesh; 46 cases lodged in 19 districts | Lucknow News

LUCKNOW: As many as 149 persons have been arrested in connection with 46 incidents in 19 districts in 20 days where individuals were attacked following rumours of child-lifting.
Maximum cases were registered in Barabanki (10), while maximum arrests were made in Basti district (19) in four cases.
The UP Police has also separately registered 62 cases against those circulating rumours of child-lifting on social media. Here also, Barabanki with six cases tops.
The districts where these incidents have been reported include Sambhal, Hardoi, Rae Bareli, Basti, Sitapur, Unnao, Mirzapur, Chandauli, Lucknow police commissionerate, Siddharthnagar, Pilibhit, Budaun and Moradabad.
Additional director general of police, Law and Order, Prashant Kumar said that all district police chiefs have been asked to take strict action in cases of child-lifting rumours. He also directed to circulate a message on Twitter, WhatsApp and other mediums discouraging people from believing in rumours and lynching innocent people.
“We are monitoring all the cases registered of child-lifting and have also directed the district police chiefs to invoke NSA as per the gravity of the case,” he said.
Kumar clarified that neither was any actual child-lifter identified in the state, nor was anybody found with a child, barring one incident of Ambedkarnagar. “In that also, private company officials were asking for directions from two young boys and the public thrashed them,” he added.
He added that any incident of child theft, whether it is a rumour or a real incident, should be acted upon promptly. “Immediately, an FIR must be registered on the cases of missing or abducted children,” he directed.
“To prevent the spread of rumours related to child theft incidents, coordination meetings should be organized with the DMs and officers of other departments. In villages and localities, members of the peace committee, civil defence officials, village heads, councillors and others must hold meetings with residents and counsel them not to believe in rumours and to not take the law into their own hands,” said Kumar.
A dedicated team in social media headed by an ASP-rank officer is also monitoring rumour mongering on social media round the clock.
Cops must use public address systems and microphones available in PRV vehicles and the public should be asked to stay away from such rumours and not indulge in illegal activities and assure them that the local police are always ready and capable to cooperate with them, the ADG said.

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