GUWAHATI: After Assam and Tripura, rumour-mongering over child-lifters are now sweeping a Manipur district.
Two unidentified men were brutally beaten up by the locals on the suspicion that they were child-lifters. The incidents occurred at Champhai and Saikul villages in Manipur’s Kangpokpi district on Tuesday. The victims are admitted to a hospital at Saikul.
In both incidents, the victims were found to be loitering around aimlessly and in a suspicious manner in the evening.
What strengthened the locals’ suspicion about the victims was their inability to communicate in any language, be it Manipuri, Hindi or English.
Later, they were thrashed by the locals and handed over to the police. One of the men sported long hair and beard.
The police said the duo had been taken into protective custody and were being treated. According to some media reports, the two men are from Assam and they confessed to have eaten the flesh of some minors whom they had abducted and killed. The police rubbished the reports saying no child was reported missing in the areas in recent times.
“There is nothing like cannibalism involved in the incidents. So far, their whereabouts are not known. Both seem to be mentally unsound. We will get a psychiatric test done tomorrow (Thursday) because they have not been able to say who they are and where they are from,” Kangpokpi Superintendent of Police, Hemant Pandey, told TNIE.
He said a number of villages in the district were in the grip of rumours about child-lifting.
“I don’t know where these rumours are spreading from. They (duo) were suspected to be child lifters but I don’t think they are. They are under observation. They are fine,” he said.
The SP said the district administration was trying to tie up with social organisations to create awareness. The police appealed to the villagers to refrain from taking law into their hands.
“We are telling people that if they suspect somebody, they should bring the person to the police,” Pandey added.