Mob Beats Transgender Woman to Death in India Over Fake Child Trafficking Rumor

Pictures of children killed in Syria are being posted with false claims that they were taken in India.

A mob beat a transgender woman to death in India, and injured three others, over false rumors that she and her group were there to kidnap children.

“They were begging for money from some shopkeepers in Chandrayanagutta at 11pm when some unruly youths started saying they had come to kidnap children,” V. Satyanarayana, a deputy commissioner of police in Hyderabad ,told CNN.

The women were attacked on Saturday night by up to 20 people, while around 200 reportedly encouraged the violence.

“For the last 15 days in India, especially in the Telugu-speaking states, a lot of rumors on WhatsApp and other social media have been shared about gangs kidnapping children,” Satyanarayana said.

ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

He added that images of dead children from the war in Syria and the alleged ethnic cleansing in Myanmar are being shared with fake claims that the pictures are from India.

“These mischief mongers are intentionally circulating such messages to create panic in the minds of the public,” he said.

“Social media, especially WhatsApp, is something where knowingly or unknowingly sharing rumors, makes you a part of the spreading mechanism,” said Anjani Kumar, the commissioner of police for Hyderabad, at a press conference Sunday.

“So, if you receive any such sensitive material, you are advised to delete it. We request you to inform police authorities and we will take immediate action against those sending such media.”

The app has over 200 million active monthly users.

This is not the first case of violence in response to the hoax.

Just one day before this most recent attack, a man was severely beaten over similar rumors claiming he was part of a child kidnapping gang.

Police are attempting to educate citizens about the ongoing rumors in hopes of preventing more bloodshed.

Workshops are being held across the city, and messages shared on the police department’s social media accounts warning against spreading the content.

They have also released a video explaining how the content is created.

 

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