The police will take stringent action against rumour mongers who are trying to affect the peace in the state, West Bengal Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purkayastha said on Monday.
Top brass of the West Bengal Police and Kolkata Police held a meeting at Bhawani Bhavan on Monday over repeated incidents where common people were manhandled due to spreading of rumours.
Besides Purkayastha, ADG (Law and Order) Anuj Sharma and Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar were present at the meeting. Police have so far arrested 25 people for their involvement in similar incidents.
At the press conference, Purkayastha said: "Rumours were being spread that some people with their faces covered with black clothes were lifting children, molesting women and committing dacoity. The rumours were being spread mainly in border areas. Initially, it was happening in one district but now it is happening in two to three districts."
Stating that someone or a group of people is spreading the rumours deliberately, Purkayastha said: "Unnecessarily people shouldn't get unnerved. Such incidents had once happened in Kolkata. Such rumours are now being spread in the districts and people involved in it are carrying out anti-social activities."
"As a result, beggars and elderly people who do not have shelters have been attacked. Such attempts are being made with a purpose of creating disturbances in the state," the DGP said, adding that the state and Kolkata Police are keeping watch on the situation. "Stringent action will be taken if anyone is caught spreading rumours," he added.
Rumour mongering has caused some violent incidents in the past few days. On Saturday, a woman and her mother in Hooghly were beaten up on suspicion of being child lifters.