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In the last few days, incidents of violence on suspicion of child theft have increased across the country. In some cases, mob violence even took people’s lives. Such cases have come in more than 10 states including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh. Look at some examples…

Case-1: Shahrukh, 19, was returning to his home in Muzaffarnagar along with his friends Salman, Dilshad and Sameer in Deoband, Saharanpur, late on September 8. All of them worked as laborers and were returning home from work. Meanwhile, he was stopped by a mob of some people near Parauli village of Saharanpur. First the mob asked the name and then shot. Shahrukh died on the spot. When the police investigated the matter, it came to know that the local people had shot him mistaking him as a child thief.

Case-2: In Deoband of Saharanpur itself, on Friday, the people of a village misbehaved with a woman and a man, mistaking it as a child thief. Somehow, both of them escaped from the crowd and reached the police station and saved their lives. Similarly, the local people also broke down on a psychopath as a child thief. He beat her up too.

Case-3: In Unnao’s Makhi police station area, people took a young woman and two youths hostage on Friday night. They were tied with barbed wire to a pole buried in the field and beaten up fiercely. Someone informed the police about being a child lifter. Later it came to know that these three were going to their house after returning from a relative’s place.

Case-4: Four youths working in the Reliance network of Kasganj were going in a car. All four had gone out for testing a mobile network tower. By this time the local people reached. People first took the four out of the car and interrogated them and then called them child thieves and beat them up fiercely. Not only this, the police was also called on the spot. In front of the police, the local people put the four in the car and overturned it. Later, when the police inquired, it came to know that these four had gone out for testing the mobile network.

What is this matter? Why are such incidents happening? Who are the people behind this? What are the police and the government doing about this? What did the police say on these incidents and what should you do in such a situation? Let us tell you…

First understand why this is happening?
Many such videos, photos and messages are becoming viral on social media, in which child theft gangs are being claimed to be active. It is being said that these gangs smuggle their organs by killing children. The effect of such rumors is that people have started looking at every unknown person with the eyes of a child thief.

What are the police and the government doing?
In view of the rising rumors of child theft, the statement of ADG Law and Order of Uttar Pradesh has come. He has directed for immediate action in such cases. He has asked the police officers of all the districts to take the information of child theft seriously. Go on the spot and test yourself. But, if someone deliberately spreads such fake rumours, then strict action should be taken against him also. National Security Act (NSA) should be imposed against those spreading rumours. Instructions have been given to file a case against such people under 7 CLA Act.

Similarly, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar police have also issued statements saying that they should not pay attention to such rumours. The police has also made it clear that if anyone is caught spreading such rumours, legal action will be taken against him. He may end up in jail.

What do you do then?
To understand this, we talked to Dr. Ritu Ahuja, who works for Child Welfare. Dr. Ritu said, ‘Incidents of children being stolen often come to the fore. But the way rumors are being spread about this, it is worrying. Due to this, people are mistaking every unknown person as a child thief. This is the reason that there have been cases like assault and murder in many places. This needs to be stopped. This will happen only when you and we are self-aware and alert.

Dr. Ritu further says that in today’s time people need to be careful in both the ways. The first is to keep one’s own children safe and secondly to prevent any kind of rumor from spreading. Dr. Ritu told in three points that how such incidents can be prevented?

1. Be careful with children

  • More attention is needed if your child is still in the hospital. Somebody stayed with the child day and night. If you are not allowed inside, talk to a doctor or hospital staff about monitoring the baby.
  • If your child is at home and is under the age of five, do not leave him alone. be with him always. Even while sleeping at night, keep in mind that do not make the child sleep outside in the open.
  • Explain to children older than five years that they should not take anything that is eaten from outside. For example, if someone gives toffee, chocolate, ice cream or some other food item, then do not take it.
  • Even if you are sending children to play, keep an eye on them. Don’t let them know far away. Also explain to the children that they should not go anywhere with an unknown person. Then why is he not talking about taking him home?
  • Take care of children while going to and from school. Send them either on their own or a family member to pick up and pick up or decide on a school bus, auto or rickshaw. There must be police verification of their driver and conductor.

2. What to do if there is a suspicion of a child lifter?

  • If you suspect an unknown person, report it to the police. Do not try to confront him or hit him by grabbing him. Doing so can lead to legal action against you as well.
  • If a suspect has a child and you suspect him, you should inform the police only. If you think he might run away until the police arrive, chase him. You can even take a picture of him without him knowing.
  • Yes, hand over these photos to the police only. Going viral on social media can also have a bad effect. If that person is not really a child-lifter, then there may be trouble ahead for him. People can attack him. Therefore, do not give such photos and videos to anyone other than the police under any circumstances.

3. Verify the truth before sharing the message

If there is any message or even a verbal claim is being made by any person, then first test it. In the investigation, if that message is true, then share it with others. If it is wrong, then immediately interrupt the sender of the message and tell that this is a rumour. If you have spread any rumour, then legally you can also get punishment for it.

Expansion

In the last few days, incidents of violence on suspicion of child theft have increased across the country. In some cases, mob violence even took people’s lives. Such cases have come in more than 10 states including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh. Look at some examples…

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