Tamil Nadu: Family, accused of looting temple, attacked; 10-year-old killed
A family of six was attacked by a mob in Killanur village of Tamil Nadu's Pudukottai district, videos of which went viral on Monday. The family was accused of looting temples in the area, an allegation that they have denied. During the attack, 10-year-old Karpagambika, a member of the family, was also severely injured, and she succumbed to the injuries on Wednesday.
Why does this story matter?
- Mob attack has remained a major concern as data show that 28 people were killed across India between 2010 and 2017. Of those, about 90% were reported after May 2014.
- Amid rising incidents of violence, the Ministry of Home Affairs on December 15, 2021, informed Lok Sabha that National Crime Records Bureau stopped collecting data on lynchings and mob violence in 2017.
WhatsApp messages declared them robbers
On November 14, WhatsApp messages about a group robbing roadside temples had surfaced. On seeing the family, who were outsiders, the villagers accused them of being the robbers. They were traveling in an autorickshaw when a gang of villagers chased them down and assaulted them brutally. The family belongs to the Cuddalore district of the state.
Two viral videos record parts of the incident
One of the two videos, which is 49-second-long, shows an autorickshaw boarded by the family being chased by over a dozen people on at least eight bikes. They chased them for nearly a kilometer before they were attacked. Another video showing several metallic items, including different kinds of utensils, that the mob alleged the family stole has gone viral.
Injured being treated, case registered
After receiving news of the attack, police reached the Machuvadi area and rescued the family from the clutches of the mob. The injured family members are being treated at the Pudukottai government hospital. The child died in the same hospital on Wednesday evening. Lilly Pushpa, the deceased's mother, has registered a complaint at the Ganesh Nagar police station against the mob.
Family responds to allegations of loot
Pushpa denied the allegations they were "looting temples," stating they had been visiting a series of temples for the past two months since they left home. She further said that to visit the temples, they have been traveling only by autorickshaw.