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Indian WhatsApp lynchings

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Indian WhatsApp lynchings
TypeMoral panic, mass hysteria, lynchings, mob violence
CauseFake news spread via social media, especially WhatsApp
Deaths≥ 23
Arrests≥ 600

There were several cases of mob-related violence, after rumours of child abduction and organ harvesting. The cases happened in rural India. They are known as Indian WhatsApp lynchings today. The application WhatsApp, which runs on mobile phones was used to spread the rumours.

The murders started in May 2017, when seven men were killed in Jharkhand. These cases did not get national attention until the following year.

The messages that are circulated are false. They contain some local details. Sometimes a real video is attached to the message, or claim.

In almost all of the lynching locations, no child abductions had been recorded in the previous three months.[1]

Most of the attacks have occurred in villages. The lynch mobs included men, women and children. In some cases the mobs were composed largely of illiterate or poorly educated men that were unemployed or working as day labourers; often, they were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the attack.[2] In at least some of the cases prime instigators have used child-abduction fears to stir up the violence and settle old scores.


[change | change source]
  1. "Murderous mob — 9 states, 27 killings, one year: And a pattern to the lynchings". The Indian Express. 15 July 2018.
  2. "An Express Investigation Part 2: Look who all make up the murderous lynch mob". The Indian Express. 15 July 2018.