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Stripped & kicked over child thief cry

Ranchi, Oct. 11: A 45-year-old woman and an 18-year-old youth — apparently associated with an orphanage in Hardwar — were stripped and severely beaten up by an irate village mob that mistook them for child-lifters this morning.

The incident took place at Kathitand, a village 15km from Ranchi district headquarters and under Ratu police station area.

The woman and the youth have been admitted to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in critical condition. Agitated villagers also attacked a police party and injured a constable.

Trouble started around 10am, when 10-year-old Munna Kumar complained to father Suraj Singh that the duo tried to lure him with a Rs 100 currency note. “Angry villagers stripped the woman and the youth, and rained blows and kicks till they became senseless,” said an eyewitness.

A police team that reached the spot and tried to rescue the two was also not spared. While constable Mangra Bhagat sustained head injuries, the windscreen of a police vehicle was damaged in brickbating.

SP (rural) Michael Raj S. confirmed the incident, saying details of the victims were being collected to ascertain both their identity and purpose of visit to the village.

Sources in the police, however, said verification of documents had lead to the duo being identified as Kamla Bai and Prakash Nath. They are associated with an orphanage, Prachin Sri Shivshakti Shishu Ashram, in Hardwar and had come to collect donations.

Officer-in-charge, Ratu police station, Sanjay Kumar, said an FIR would be lodged in this connection after the injured were stable enough to give their statement.

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