Sukanta Chakraborty, who was hired by Tripura’s Information and Culture department to campaign against rumour-mongering, ended up being lynched late on June 28.
Mr. Chakraborty, 33, was one of the three people killed in Tripura in two days following rumours about child-lifting for organ trade spread through social media.
Five others, including a constable, have been injured in mob attacks.
The police initially thought Mr. Chakraborty had fallen prey to the very rumour-mongering that he was assigned to campaign against using loudspeakers in public places. They later said he could have been killed for “other reasons” that were being probed.
“A mob attacked his vehicle at Kalachhara when he was returning to Sabroom. He died but his driver, who too was beaten up, escaped with injuries,” Smriti Ranjan Das, Assistant Inspector General of Police, told reporters in Agartala.
Hawkers beaten up
Earlier, people of Murabari in Tripura west had beaten up three hawkers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, suspecting them to be child-lifters. They ran to a camp of the Tripura State Rifles, but a larger mob stormed the camp and lynched one of them, identified as Zahir Khan of U.P., despite the police using force to disperse them.
A mob, suspecting a mentally challenged woman to be a child-lifter, lynched her at Bishalgarh in Sepahijhala district.
In view of the lynching incidents, Tripura’s Director General of Police A.K. Shukha on Friday asked mobile phone service providers to suspend SMS and Internet data services across the State till 2 pm on Saturday.
Chief Minister Biplab Deb, appealing to people not to heed child-lifting rumours, said the scare was a CPI(M) conspiracy to tarnish the image of the BJP-led government in Tripura.
The first case of lynching attributed to rumour-mongering about child abduction was reported from Assam’s Karbi Anglong district on May 31. Two young men from affluent families of Guwahati died in that incident.