Cuttack: In yet another case of attack on strangers on suspicion of child-theft, a man reportedly jumped into Mahanadi river after being attacked by a mob on Tuesday night here.
According to reports, a person was spotted roaming in Jobra area last night. Locals suspected him to be a member of child-lifting racket and attacked him. He, anyhow, managed to escape from the clutches of the mob and jumped into Mahanadi river to get rid of the violence.
A team of ODRAF personnel rushed to the spot being informed about the incident and rescued him. The victim was admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital here. The person is stated to be mentally unsound.
With reports of assaults of innocent people on suspicion of child-lifters continue to pour in from different parts of Odisha, the state police on Tuesday had issued a seven-point advisory in this connection.
In the advisory, the police urged people not to take the law into their hands by attacking unknown persons suspecting them kidnappers of minors.
The police said the allegations regarding prowling of child lifting gangs in different districts is false and baseless and termed it as rumours. It is wrong to brand people who do not know the Oriya language as child lifters, the police said.
The police advised people not to spread such rumours through social networking site Facebook and popular messaging app WhatsApp and on other platforms.
Sources said rumours are being spread in the social media that the child lifting gangs kidnap children and extract their eyes and kidneys.
The police have also initiated action against those who had taken the law into their hands by thrashing innocent people on suspicion of being child lifters.
Ambadala police in Rayagada arrested 16 people of Peruguda village of the district for allegedly thrashing two persons suspecting them to be the child lifters on May 27.
Police also detained three other persons in Simulia area of Balasore for allegedly for stripping and beating up a woman in full public glare on the same suspicion.
In the recent past, many such incidents were reported from Ganjam, Kendrapara, Rayagada, Balasore and Nayagarh areas. Mostly homeless beggars and mentally-challenged persons have fallen prey to mob fury.
The incidents of mob violence over child-theft rumours became frequent after a video showing miscreants lifting children and extracting their eyes and kidneys went viral a few days ago.