Nagadih Lynching: Hysteria Arising from Rumours Turned Lethal

Eighty-year-old Ram Sakhi Devi from Jharkhand was killed, along with three youths, following a rumour that they were child abductors.

Failure of the local police, their intelligence gathering unit – which alert them about the tensions on the ground and possible attacks, their snail-paced response, their lack of preparedness – in terms of arms and number of personnel – to deal with a situation, rumours spread through WhatsApp, and its blind following appear to have contributed to the mass hysteria of mob lynchings across the country. 

These are the factors that  turned out to be responsible for the brutal killings of an elderly woman (Ram Sakhi Devi, 80) along with three youths (Gautam Verma, 27, Vikas Verma, 25, and their friend Gangesh Gupta, 26) on the suspicion of child abduction at Nagadih village in East Singhbhum district on May 18, 2017. 

The deceased were residents of Jugsalai area of Jamshedpur. Here’s how their horror unfolded. This story is the fourth part of our ongoing series on lynching cases in Jharkhand.  

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