Five persons were on Sunday lynched by a mob in Maharashtra’s Dhule district over suspicion that they were part of a gang of child lifters, police said.
The five, along with a few others, were seen getting down from a state transport bus in the tribal Rainpada village, police said.
"When one of them apparently tried to speak to a girl child, the villagers, who had gathered for the weekly Sunday market, pounced on them," police said.
Police said five were killed in the mob fury, adding two policemen were also injured in the incident.
The men who were killed were reportedly from Solapur district of Maharashtra.
Fifteen people have been taken into custody in connection with the incident, police said.
“The bodies have been shifted to the rural hospital in Pimpalner and police teams were maintaining a vigil in the Rainpada area under the supervision of IG (Nashik range) Chhering Dorje and other senior officers,” an official said.
According to police, rumours that a gang of child lifters was active in the area were doing the rounds for a few days.
Maharashtra Minister of State for Home Deepak Kesarkar has appealed to people not to believe in rumours being circulated on social media.
“Strong action will be taken. I appeal everybody not to believe in such posts that are circulated on social media. Law should not be taken in hands. I will visit Dhule tomorrow,” ANI quoted Kesarkar as saying.
(With inputs from PTI)