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Tripura lynchings: Cops launch awareness drive, increase vigil

To keep the rumours over child-lifting and mob violence at bay, the Tripura Police has launched community engagement initiatives across the state, a top official said today.

This comes in the backdrop of back-to-back lynching incidents on Thursday as rumours on the presence of “child-lifters” spread in different parts of the state.

“All district police officials have been asked to initiate confidence-building measures in their area to sensitise people against rumour-mongering,” Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) K V Sreejesh told agencies.

There were, however, no fresh reports of mob violence from any part of the state, he said.

“We started taking community-engagement measures ever since the rumours regarding child-lifters started spreading. We have intensified our engagement in the villages and far-flung areas as community policing has proved to be a powerful instrument to enforce law and order,” Sreejesh added.

Under its “Prayaas” initiative, the Tripura Police is aiming to forge stronger police-public ties to improve the delivery of law enforcement services to the people.

The initiative also involved awareness programmes to curb crimes and rumours, Sreejesh said.

On June 28, 33-year-old Sukanta Chakrabarty was lynched at Kalachhara in South Tripura district. He was a member of a team set up by the state government to campaign against rumour-mongering.

An unidentified woman and a hawker from Uttar Pradesh were also lynched the same day at Bishalgarh in Sipahijala district and Murabari in West Tripura district respectively. Several people were also injured in the three incidents.

Patrolling was intensified across the state and the police were trying to hold informal engagements with the people, Sreejesh said.

West Tripura District Magistrate Sandeep K Mahatme said the local administration was also running awareness campaigns and urging the people to maintain peace and steer clear of rumours.

“We are going to the markets and other such places where people gather in large numbers. We are reassuring them that there are no child-lifters operating anywhere in Tripura,” he added.

Meanwhile, the state government’s ban on text messages and mobile Internet services was extended by another 24 hours last night, Sreejesh said.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has appealed to the people to maintain calm.

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