Jharkhand villagers clash with police over child lifter rumours

Ranchi, May 20 (IANS) Hundreds of villagers on Saturday clashed with police in Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur region, protesting the killing of several persons in Seraikela-Kharsawa and East Singhbhum districts for being suspected child lifters.

Police had to resort to lathi-charge and even used tear gas in some places.

Rumours of ‘bacha chor’ or child lifters has claimed several lives in the state over the past fortnight, with maximum number of deaths being reported from Jamshedpur region followed by Bokaro and Dhanbad districts.

In the last two months, irate village mobs have attacked men on the suspicion of being child lifters in which several persons lost their lives while many others sustained serious injuries.

On Thursday, separate incidents in Raj Nagar village of Seraikela-Kharsawa district and Bagbera Police Station area of the East Singhbhum districts claimed the lives of seven persons suspected of being child lifters.

Jharkhand government has already announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of each of the victims.

Last week, three persons were killed on the same charges in Seraikela-Kharsawa district.

In April, Shamsuddin Ansari was badly beaten by villagers in Chandrapur of Bokaro district after he was suspected of being a child lifter. He later died due to his injuries.

Reports from several other districts in the state also claim that incidents related to child lifting was on an increase.

Unfortunately, the police has remained a mere spectator and has refrained to take against the large crowd of the villagers in all these incidents. Upon intervention in many occasions, they have also faced the anger of the villagers as many policemen have sustained injuries and their vehicles have also been set on fire.

Jharkhand police has appealed to the people to not pay heed to any such rumours.

“No child has been lifted in Jharkhand. These are rumours. Stern action will be taken against those found spreading such rumours,” said Additional Director General of Police R.K. Mallik.

–IANS

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