A trans man in India has been beaten to death after fake messages claiming he was involved in human trafficking went viral.
Chandraiah and his transgender son Ravi, 25, and male friend Narasimha, were attacked at around 11.45pm near the city’s Naseeb Nagar district.
Police said the trio were begging for money in and around hotels in the area.
Indian media reports they were wrongly accused of coming “to kidnap children” through social media posts
Trans man wrongly accused of child kidnapping
Chandrayangutta Police Inspector Prakash Reddy spoke to The Times of India
He said: “There have been some WhatsApp messages doing round, rumours about burglars, kidnappers and transgenders.
“One of the locals raised alarm saying the duo has come to kidnap children,” he continued.
According to reports, people who had read the false warnings began converging and arguing with the three victims.
The newspaper states that a mob of around 500 people begun attacking the trio.
Mob pelted police with stones
Narasimha, who tried to rescue the two transgender males, suffered serious injuries before the mob began pelting police with stones.
The three victims were taken to Osmania General Hospital for treatment.
Chandraiah died at 3am on Sunday (27 May). The other two injured parties are still undergoing treatment in hospital.
Hyderabad police: “Do not take the law into your own hands”
Hyderabad Police have since appealed to citizens to not take the law into their own hands.
A statement said: ‘These days social media platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter are being used to spread fake news.
‘All such messages are only rumours. If someone sends such news please do not share with anyone and validate with the police.
‘If anyone finds suspicions, tell the police by dialling 100 or inform through Hawkeye, Facebook and Whatsapp.
Continuing, the statement said: ‘Do not take the law into your own hands. We will take serious legal action against you.
‘Please do not believe in rumours, do not campaign and do not force the innocents.’