BELGAUM: Mistaking antibegging squad members for kidnappers, the villagers of Balekundri Khurd, caught them after a long chase and thrashed them, before handing them over to police, in Belgaum in the late hours of Monday.
According to sources, the villagers turned suspicious when some women told them that three persons stopped a youth near the bus- stop, put him in their van and disappeared from the scene.
Three women, who witnessed the scene, immediately informed it to the other villagers.
The youths of the village chased the van on their bikes, intercepted and stopped it near Basavan Kudachi village.
They allegedly thrashed the three persons and brought them, along with the ‘kidnapped’ youth back to their village.
The villagers informed about the kidnappers to the police, who rushed to the spot.
When police enquired the matter, it was revealed the three individuals were anti-begging squad members who had picked up the youth mistaking him as a beggar.
They were taking him to the Beggars Home at Macche village.
According to the residents of the village, the unused bus-stand was earlier used by beggars as shelter