India police arrest 23 suspects in lynching of 5 men

India has seen a string of mob attacks in the past few months ignited by messages circulated through social media that child-abduction gangs were active in villages and towns. Above, residents protest against the rape of a seven-year-old girl in Mandsaur. (Reuters)
Updated 02 July 2018
0

India police arrest 23 suspects in lynching of 5 men

NEW DELHI: Police in western India said Monday that they have arrested 23 people who took part in the weekend lynching of five men suspected of being members of a gang of child kidnappers, as deadly mob attacks fueled by social media rumors continues around the country.
Police officer M. Ramkumar said five men were bludgeoned to death on Sunday in a remote, mountainous village in Maharashtra state.
Villagers pounced on the five when one of them tried to speak to a child at a weekly market, Rajkumar said. “The mob was merciless,” he said.
Rajkumar said police formed five teams to nab the culprits, and had so far arrested 23 of 40 people accused of participating in the mob violence.
He said that for days the village had been abuzz with rumors spread through WhatsApp that a gang of child kidnappers was roaming there.
India has seen a string of mob attacks in the past few months ignited by messages circulated through social media that child-abduction gangs were active in villages and towns.
Although authorities clarified that there was no truth to the rumors, the deadly and brutal attacks, often captured on cellphones and shared on social media, have spread across Indian states.
At least 20 people have been killed in such brutal attacks since early May, and dozens more have been injured.


Finns held in Muslim Malaysia over ‘Christian pamphlets’

Updated 8 min 45 sec ago
0

Finns held in Muslim Malaysia over ‘Christian pamphlets’

  • hey are accused of breaking laws that forbid people from disturbing religious harmony, and could be jailed for up to five years
  • Issues related to race, religion and language are considered sensitive in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Four Finns have been arrested on a holiday island in Muslim-majority Malaysia for allegedly distributing pamphlets about Christianity, police said Wednesday, and may face up to five years in jail.
Religion is a deeply sensitive issue in Malaysia, where more than 60 percent of the populaton is Muslim, and critics say rising conservatism has chipped away at a traditionally tolerant brand of Islam in recent years.
Authorities detained the two men and two women on Tuesday after receiving complaints from members of the public that they were handing out Christian materials on the popular resort island of Langkawi, said local police chief Mohamad Iqbal Ibrahim.
“Police have arrested four Finnish nationals in Langkawi for allegedly distributing religious material in a public place,” he told AFP.
“They were distributing pamphlets related to Christianity.”
The Finns, aged between 27 and 60, were arrested at a hotel and police seized pens, notebooks and a bag.
They are accused of breaking laws that forbid people from disturbing religious harmony. If found guilty, they could be jailed for between two and five years.
The suspects have been remanded in custody while police investigate.
Langkawi, a jungle-clad island in northwest Malaysia, attracts millions of tourists to its palm-fringed beaches every year.
Malaysia, home to about 32 million people, has sizeable ethnic Chinese and Indian communities who have long complained about rising Islamization.
In 2010, three churches were attacked with firebombs, causing major damage to one, as Muslims sought to prevent Christians from using the word “Allah.”
Issues related to race, religion and language are considered sensitive in Malaysia, which witnessed deadly riots between members of the majority Malay community and ethnic Chinese in 1969.