Though the police department has been reiterating that the video is fake, a 26-year-old man has been lynched in Bengaluru and at least 90 innocents have been assaulted across the state.
On Friday, three women garment factory employees in Vijayanagara Gutte, near Whitefield, were locked up by a mob. The jurisdictional police, who rushed to the spot and rescued them, have registered a case.
Similar incidents were reported from Pulikeshinagar, Shivajinagar and Bharathinagar areas on Thursday. “The police rescued 12 people, including three women, and registered two cases against mobs for allegedly assaulting innocents,” police commissioner T Suneel Kumar said.
The indiscriminate attacks have prompted the police to register at least 70 cases and arrest 46 people, including 16 connected with the Bengaluru lynching. Four more were arrested in Cottonpet on Thursday night for beating up beggars.
Cases were booked under multiple IPC sections, including murder and attempt to murder. Although the assaults appeared isolated, occurring at locations across the state, the victims shared common profiles. They were all beggars, nomads, rag-pickers, daily wage labourers, maids and those who cannot speak the local tongue.
However, district police confirmed no case of child abduction, matching the suspected modus operandi, had been reported in Karnataka.
Yet, the child helpline no. 1098 is flooded with calls from fearful people claiming there are child-lifters in their areas. The police said the helpline has received at least 150 calls in the last fortnight.
Meanwhile, after Kaluram, 26, was lynched by a mob that mistook him for a child-lifter in Chamarajpet, his family alleged he was a victim of a kidney racket. The police, however, refuted this claim. “The victim was mistaken to be a child-lifter, and this has no connection with any kidney racket,” the police said.