A pregnant and deaf-mute woman was thrashed by a mob over suspicion of being a child-lifter in northeast Delhi, police said on Sunday, an incident which comes close on the heels of mob attacks over similar rumours in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
Three people have been arrested in connection with the incident on a complaint lodged by the woman's family members at the Harsh Vihar police station, they said.
Several people have been injured in violence over the rumours in UP over the past week, forcing the state police to warn public that it has decided to invoke the stringent National Security Act against rumour-mongers.
The four-month pregnant woman was beaten up by a mob in Harsh Vihar on August 27 over suspicion that she was a child lifter , Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northeast) Atul Kumar Thakur said.
A resident of southeast Delhi's Tughlakabad, the woman was admitted to a hospital by her family and her condition is stated to be stable, according to police.
The DCP said a case has been registered at the Harsh Vihar police station under Indian Penal Code sections for voluntarily causing hurt and wrongful restraint.
"We have arrested three persons, Deepak (27), B Shakuntala (52) and Lalit Kumar (29), residents of Mandoli," he said.
He urged people not to pay heed to rumours of child abduction.
The woman's family alleged that her in-laws had banished her from their Faridabad home on August 18 and said she was missing since then.
"Somehow the woman reached Harsh Vihar and was staying on a footpath. Locals used to give her food but on August 27, they attacked her over allegations of child lifting," a police officer said.
The family approached the Delhi Police after seeing a video of the incident.