CHENNAI: Two migrant labourers from Bihar, employed at a Metro Rail construction site, were assaulted by a mob suspecting them to be child lifters at Teynampet on Saturday night. In May, a man was lynched in Pulicat on suspicion of being a child lifter, while a mob in Tiruvannamalai attacked five, killing a 65-year-old woman, for the same reason. Similar incidents have been reported across the State, fuelled by fake social media messages about child-lifting gangs.
Police said around 9pm on Saturday, five workers were talking to a four-year-old child on the street. One of them had been the child’s neighbour at Kamarajar Street. “The child’s mother Varalakshmi had gone to a nearby shop and the child Avinash ran out of the house following her. To protect him, one of the workers, Gopal Sahu, picked him up,” said a police officer. But Selva Kumar, at the same street, raised alarm claiming they were trying to kidnap the child. The workers, sensing trouble, left.
“As they were walking down Thiruvallur Salai, eight men on motorbikes surrounded them and started assaulting them,” said the police officer. Three workers managed to escape but Sahu (25) and K Binoth Vikari (22) were thrashed. A police patrol team rescued them. They were taken to a private hospital. Teynampet police have registered a case.