Rumour of child lifter gang creates panic in Singchung, admin issues advisory

[ Bengia Ajum ]

SINCHUNG, 27 Jul: A rumour of an alleged child lifter gang being active here under West Kameng district has created panic among the citizens. The panicky situation prompted local police and administration to swing into action and start an investigation into the claims. As per the report, the rumour of the child lifter gang first started from a labour camp at Ramalingam, near Eagle Nest Sanctuary. On 21 July evening, a woman made the claim that she saw 6 men wearing ‘lungis’ roaming around to reportedly kidnap the children.

A few days later on 25 July around 8.30 pm, one Joya Devi called up her neighbour here claiming that she heard some noise from her kitchen and that she suspected that a child lifter gang might be around. Immediately word spread and youths with machetes gathered and started looking for the alleged gang. A video of people searching for the gang was also widely circulated creating more panic.

The officer in-charge of Rupa police station Tsering Dorjee, who is looking after the Singchung area has strongly refuted the rumour and urged people to stop spreading false rumours.

“I visited Ramalingam when the rumour started making the rounds. We searched the whole area but did not find any such people described by the woman. Even she could not substantiate her claim,” said OC Dorjee. Further, he said the whole rumour was spread based on hearsay and nobody could substantiate their claims. “There is absolutely no authenticity. Unnecessary panic has been created by these baseless rumours,” he added.

The OC also informed that he has appealed to the people of the area not to spread rumours.

“We have thoroughly investigated the claims made by the rumour mongers. There is not an iota of truth. This is pure rumour mongering,” said OC Dorjee. He also said the situation is improving now.

Meanwhile, the additional deputy commissioner of Singchung Mokar Riba has issued an advisory.

“This is with reference to the Ramalingam case of July 21st 2022. The case is under investigation and nothing concrete has been unearthed as of date. Following the incident, numerous unconfirmed and unverified text messages, audio/video clips and photos of child lifting, burglary etc are in circulation on social media handles in Singchung Sub-Division which are not at all connected to the case due to which there is a mass panic everywhere. Such irresponsible and explosive messages may create panic and misunderstanding among the general public,” the advisory read.

Further in its advisory, the ADC advised the public to act responsibly and refrain from spreading/ posting unverified or unconfirmed text messages, audio/video clips, photos etc on social media and avoid rumour mongering which is a punishable offence.