SHIMLA: As rumours of child theft spread, a mob thrashed a truck cleaner in Himachal Pradesh's Kullu district on Sunday on suspicion he was trying to abduct a child, police said.
People beat Rakesh Kumar, 37, after a child ran away from him when he greeted the kid with 'namaste' near the Gammon Bridge, said Kullu Superintendent of Police Gaurav Singh.
A resident of Bilaspur, Kumar was looking for a water source nearby when he saw the child and greeted him, Singh said.
When he reached Shangri Bagh, some people gathered there thrashed him, suspecting he was trying to abduct the child, Singh said.
The child told police officials that he ran away after seeing the truck cleaner because his parents had told him that child lifters were active in the area these days.
The SP said an FIR under various IPC sections was registered at Kullu police station on Kumar's complaint and seven people have been arrested.
The police officer requested public to avoid spreading rumours or strict action will be taken, he said. If a suspicious person is seen, police should be informed first, he added.