Chennai: With mob attacks on north Indians as well as local residents in the northern districts of Tamil Nadu on the rise, state police have warned persons spreading rumours of child trafficking and attacking innocents, of severe consequences. “We have initiated an inquiry with the help of the cyber crime branch to nab persons who spread rumours on social media,” IG (North) C. Sridhar said in a television interview. He issued the warning after reports of prevalent attacks on north Indians as well as local residents, suspecting them to be child-lifters.
Tiruvallur, Vellore, Tiruvannamalai and Kancheepuram have seen attacks for the past one month owing to a WhatsApp message, speaking of the arrival of 200 child traffickers from north India to Tamil Nadu via Arakkonam railway station.
IG Sridhar said that the messages circulated are rumours and implored people to check the veracity of such messages before believing them. “Believing and acting on rumours will spoil the life of attackers. Do not entangle yourselves in a legal mess by attacking innocents,” he warned.
Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police, Chennai, A.K. Viswanathan also warned of detaining attackers under the Goondas Act. Police can detain a person for one year without bail under this Act, he said.
Explaining the actions taken by the authorities to curtail such attacks, Sridhar said that police have launched mass-contact campaigns to reach out to people. “If anyone comes across persons roaming in a suspicious manner, they should detain the persons and inform police. They should not beat them,” he added. According to him, 2 persons, Rukmani and an unknown man, were killed due to the mob attack and 11 persons injured in incidents of lynching. “Cases were booked against 51 persons in connection with the lynching. They were booked for murder and assault,” Sridhar said.
In a move to sensitize villagers, police have decided to conduct meetings with village heads. “We will start sending bulk SMSes asking people to restrain from attacking innocent persons,” he said....