MUMBAI: Five persons were on Sunday lynched by villagers of Rainpada, 25 km from Pimpalner, in Dhulia district of North Maharashtra on Sunday. The villagers apparently mistook them as a gang of child-lifters and beat them up, the police said.
The five had come to the tribal hamlet in a state transport bus. When one of them tried to speak to a girl child, villagers, who had gathered for the weekly Sunday bazaar, suddenly attacked them, the police said.
There were rumours for the last few days that a gang of child-lifters was active in the area, the police added.
An official at the Pimpalner police station said the identities of the victims are yet to be established.
Two policemen were also injured in the incident. Fifteen people have been taken into custody so far, the police said.
The bodies have been shifted to a rural hospital in Pimpalner.
"I shall be visiting the village tomorrow to take stock of the situation," Minister of State for Home Deepak Kesarkar told The New Indian Express.
He also appealed to people not to believe in rumours being circulated on social media.