On 16 April 2020, two Hindu priests and their driver were killed. This happened after the men were stopped by a crowd of men at a checkpoint amid coronavirus lockdown, accused of being thieves or child kidnappers, and then taken away and killed. The presence of the police at the scene has raised questions about their involvement. Did they do enough to try to stop the killings? Or did they let it take place?
No, the police were not complicit in the Palghar lynchingShow moreShow less
The police did not arrange the lynching and even tried to stop it.
Before the incident, rumours were spreading around the area that children were being kidnapped in the night. These rumours were largely spread via WhatsApp.
Lynchings occurring due to rumours spread on WhatsApp is not new in India. There have been many other prominent lynchings in recent years. Prominent examples include a 2,000 person mob murdering a software engineer who was offering chocolate to local children, believing him to be a child kidnapper, and five men killed in a nomadic community by a crowd of thousands because they were seen talking to a six-year-old.
The police have nothing to do with the lynching. It is, sadly, a not unusual incident.