Published On: May 24, 2018

A fake WhatsApp video which peddles fear by claiming an out-of-state gang is stealing children, has claimed its first casualty. A 26-year-old youth was beaten to death by a group of enraged men and women who mistook him for a child-lifter. Police identified the deceased as Kaluram, who hailed from Rajasthan. Cops suspect he is a paan seller. Police say the control room received an alert at about 1.40pm on Wednesday, that a man was being kicked and beaten with wooden logs and cricket bats by a 25-strong group that included homemakers near Ranganatha talkies in Chamarajpet. A Hoysala team was immediately dispatched to the spot. The attackers fled when the police arrived. The victim, who was severely injured, died on the way to hospital. The death is being attributed to the WhatsApp video which has spread fear in villages across at least six districts in the state. There are reports of some vigilante groups thrashing suspected child-lifters, who were later identified as beggars, homeless, or mentally challenged.  

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