The past few days have seen rumours of ‘child kidnappers’ doing the rounds of whatsapp, which has resulted in virality and exponential growth in their reach.
Residents of villages have been indiscriminately attacking and in most cases lynching ‘outsiders’6 people who are either visiting or they don’t identify with. People living on the margins- daily wage labourers, destitute beggars, garbage collection workers and members of nomadic tribes like Davri-Gosavi and etc have emerged as prime targets.
The underprivileged members of the Davri-Gosavi communities pan out of their home district of Solapur every year to ask for alms and food, going door to door.
On the 1st of July, 2018, Some community members found their way to Rayeen Pada, Pimpalner in Dhule districts Sakri Taluka. Here they were accosted by villagers, who took them to be ‘child kidnappers’ based on the rumours that had reached them via whatsapp, they didn’t even bother to make any enquiries or verify their identities. The mob then lynched them, resulting in the deaths of 5 people in a most gruesome manner, which should put humanity to shame. Aam Aadmi Party strongly condemns this.
AAP has always stood for the poor and the marginalized. We therefore demand the following:-
1. We demand a thorough enquiry into the incident, take strong action against those guilty to set a deterrent and call for the state govt to fix responsibility
2. We demand preventive measures for rumour virality on whatsapp as well as urge the state govt to conduct mass awareness to ensure that rural masses don’t fall prey to such rumours.
3.Action be taken against those initiating these rumours as well as those found to be spreading them.
4. The Maharashtra Police has clearly failed to contain this scourge. It is about time that the CM Devendra Fadnavis resigned as Home Minister and gave charge to a ‘Full time’ home minister.
AAP Maharashtra Media Team