New Delhi:Several fake social media videos and messages containing similar themes of outsiders stealing children have claimed 14 lives across the country since May 20 despite police warning people not to believe in such rumours.
Scores of incidents of locals thrashing “suspicious-looking” innocents have been reported from different states in the past month or so. Lynchings have been reported from West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha in the past two months.
The latest victim of this frenzy gripping the country was, ironically, an activist hired by the Tripura government to create awareness among people about viral social media messages targeting outsiders. Most such social media posts target outsiders, branding them as kidnappers, often referred to as child-lifters.
Sukanta Chakraborty was hired by the Tripura government after a couple of incidents in which outsiders were attacked in remote areas of the state. His death on Thursday afternoon shows how difficult it is for authorities to convince locals not to believe in these baseless child-lifter rumours.
Tripura director general of police Akhil Kumar Shukla blamed social media for the fear-mongering among villagers in remote areas, which is difficult for them to check.
“We have asked people not to believe in such rumours and are running an awareness campaign,” he said.
Gujarat police have said that the video being circulated on WhatsApp and other social media was shot by a Pakistan-based NGO Roshni Helpline to create awareness against child-lifting. Police believe that the doctored Pakistani videos seemed to have been circulated in many parts of the country including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka also.
Director general of police M Mahender Reddy of Telangana had appealed to people to not believe in such fake news and warned them against taking the law into their own hands.
“If you find someone suspicious, please inform police. We will find out and initiate action on those who are spreading these messages on social media,” he said.
Most state police departments have issued similar appeals saying that not even a single child kidnapping case has been reported from the places where the dozen-odd lynchings have taken place.
State police departments have also asked their cyber cells to monitor social media messages and asked internet service providers to get them deleted. “The problem is once the message gets viral it is difficult to check it. If people stop believing in such messages, the problem can be handled,” said Odisha DGP RP Sharma.
Kejriwal attacks Pakistan says ‘we take our enemy head on’
Gohana: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday described the Pulwama terror attack as an assault on the nation and said it was time that Pakistan be given a strong reply.
Kejriwal was in Haryana to pay tributes to the CRPF personnel who lost their lives in the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
“Pulwama attack is a cowardly act. This attack was against humanity. Pakistan is in the habit of carrying out such acts through proxy. But it is not in our blood to take on the enemy through proxy as we take our enemy head on,” he said.
He said that entire nation is united and Pakistan should be given a befitting reply. “Pakistan feels it can carry out such attacks and nothing will happen. But this time they need to be given a strong reply,” the Aam Aadmi Party’s national convener said.
Forty CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district.
Kejriwal said, “It is an attack on the nation, we cannot sit silently. At this hour, the entire nation is with our government at the centre, the Prime Minister, the security forces.”
“From this platform, we want to tell the Prime Minister that the entire country will support you. There should be no politics at this time, we all are united. Pakistan should know that we can inflict heavy casualties on them,” he said.
He said the mother of one of the killed soldiers was suffering from cancer and some soldiers had to take care of their minor children.
Their sacrifices should not go in vain, otherwise it will be a betrayal to their families and the nation, he said.
“We have to take revenge of the sacrifices they made. Pakistan should be taught a befitting lesson. If this is not done, the souls of the martyrs will not rest in peace. Many families of martyrs have demanded that Pakistan be taught a stern lesson,” he said.
“They laid down their lives for our sake so that we remain safe. What was their dream, they dreamed that everyone should get good educational facilities, health care facilities, farmers due price for their crops, everyone should have access to electricity, water and good roads. Seventy years ago when we gained freedom, those who laid down their lives, they dreamed of a prosperous India.
“But even 70 years later, their dreams are yet to be fulfilled. We should take a pledge now and rise above considerations of politics, creed, religion to make this country number one in all fields, that will be befitting tributes to these soldiers,” he said.
War kills more than 100,000 babies a year, says Save the Children
MUNICH: At least 100,000 babies die every year because of armed conflict and its impact, from hunger to denial of aid, Save the Children International said.
In the 10 worst-hit countries, a conservative estimate of 550,000 infants died as a result of fighting between 2013 and 2017.
They succumbed to war and its effects, among them hunger, damage to hospitals and infrastructure, a lack of access to health care and sanitation and the denial of aid.
It said children face the threat of being killed or maimed, recruited by armed groups, abducted or falling victim to sexual violence.
“Almost one in five children are living in areas impacted by conflict — more than at any time in the past two decades,” said the charity’s CEO Helle Thorning-Schmidt in a statement.
“The number of children being killed or maimed has more than tripled, and we are seeing an alarming increase in the use of aid as a weapon of war,” she said on releasing the report at the Munich Security Conference.
Save the Children said a study it had commissioned from the Peace Research Institute Oslo had found that 420 million children were living in conflict-affected areas in 2017.
This represents 18 per cent of all children worldwide and was up by 30 million from the previous year.
The worst-hit countries were Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The total number of deaths from indirect effects over the five-year period jumped to 870,000 when all children under the age of five were included, the charity said.
It also issued a list of recommendations to help protect children, from steps such as committing to a minimum age of 18 for military recruitment to the avoidance of using explosive weapons in populated areas.
Thorning-Schmidt said the rising number of child casualties was very worrying.
“It is shocking that in the 21st century we are going backwards on principles and moral standards that are so simple — children and civilians should never be targeted.”
Vadra says ‘witch hunt’ against him after ED attaches assets
New Delhi: Robert Vadra on Saturday termed as “witch hunt” the Enforcement Directorate’s action of attaching assets of a firm linked to him, and claimed that it showed “complete misuse of assertion of power”.
Vadra alleged “relentless harassment” a day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said it had attached assets worth Rs 4.62 crore of a firm linked to him in connection with the Bikaner land scam money laundering case.
“I have had nothing to hide and I am surely not above the law. I have deposed for almost 6 days; ranging from 8 to 12 hours per day with a 40 minute lunch break, and have been escorted to the washroom,” Vadra said in a Facebook post.
He said he had completely cooperated and adhered to the rules whenever called in any part of the country.
“Attachment of my work place–my office and areas that are sub judice, shows a complete misuse of assertion of power, a complete vindictive & vicious witch hunt,” he alleged.
“When truth sustains and prevails, I suppose an apology is all that will suffice. Will stay determined for justice for me,” Vadra said.
The ED has issued a provisional order for attachment of the assets under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
It had grilled Vadra in this case in Jaipur twice earlier this week. His mother Maureen was also asked to depose but was allowed to go after completion of brief legal procedures.
Vadra was also questioned by the ED for three consecutive days last week in connection with a probe into allegations of money laundering to purchase assets abroad.
Were under pressure to say won’t admit Kashmiri students from next session: Dehradun colleges
Dehradun, Feb 19: Clarifying on their statements of not granting admission to students from Kashmir, two city-based colleges Tuesday said...
Bengaluru FC offer to play friendly in Srinagar, Real Kashmir invite them in March
New Delhi: Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Bengaluru FC on Tuesday offered to play an exhibition match against Real Kashmir...
Boycott Kashmiri products, stop going to Amarnath : Meghalaya Governor
New Delhi :The governor of the north eastern state of India Meghalaya, Tathagata Roy, has appealed the people of India...
Major reshuffle in administration: Shahid Iqbal is new DC Srinagar, Younis Malik as Directorate of School Education, Kashmir
The governer administration on Tuesday ordered a massive reshuffle in civil administration. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary was posted as new DC...
We want stability, don’t benefit from attacking India: Imran Khan
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday said that Islamabad was open to any investigation into the February 14 Pulwama...
Pinglean encounter: Governor lauds security forces
Jammu February 19: Governor Satya Pal Malik has lauded the army, police and paramilitary forces in neutralizing militants in an...
Pakistan’s ISI involved in Pulwama attack, says Army
Srinagar: The Army on Tuesday said that within 100 hours of the February 14 Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy...
Surrender or get killed: Army warns militants
Srinagar: Army on Tuesday warned the local militants to “surrender to be ready to get killed”. Addressing a joint press...
Pakistan seeks UN help to de-escalate fresh tensions with India over Pulwama attack
Islamabad: Pakistan has sought the urgent intervention of the United Nations to “defuse tensions” with India, the Foreign Office said...
Curfew continues in Jammu for 5th day
Jammu: A curfew imposed in Jammu since February 15, continued on Tuesday for the fifth consecutive day, police said. “The...