Malda abuzz with rumours of kidnapping, snatching gangs

Malda: After the murder of a minor of English Bazar by her own relative on January 29, various stories have been circulating on social media about attempted abductions and details of potential abductors on social media and messaging apps in Malda. The residents, especially the parents of kids, are spending sleepless nights.

None of those who are posting on social media have direct experience of any of these incidents. On being asked about the source of such a sensitive post, the responsibility is being transferred to hearing from ‘some sister’, or hearing from an ‘acquaintance’. Rumours have been running alleging a person donning a mask and a hat or a woman unknown to the area is seen in front of Goyeshpur, Deshbandhupara, Bandh Road or near Old Bata under the English Bazar police station have been spotted. It is being alleged that these people have a spray in their hand that is used to stun the baby boy or girl for the purpose of abduction. Some people have gone a step further by sharing pictures of some unknown persons on social media and claiming that ‘these are the kidnappers, be careful’. However, none of the incidents have been confirmed.

Piyali Kumar, a mother of a kid, said: “The posts in social media and in messaging groups are very panicky. Being parents, many are taking extra efforts for the safety of their children.”

The district administration and the police have confirmed that these propagandas are mere rumours having no real basis. The district police are going to issue an advisory over the matter in public interest.

Pradeep Kumar Yadav, Superintendent of Police, Malda, said: “There’s nothing to panic but people should remain alert. No new gang had arrived in Malda, especially for abducting children. The set of photos are of suspected robbers of a gang. There’s no steep rise in crime rate.”On January 29, the brutal murder of a girl of North Baluchar area of English Bazar shocked the majority of the citizens and it is in that context that such rumour mongers are allegedly spreading fabricated stories.

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