Hyderabad: The rumours about gangs that devour human brains and kidnap children, which have been giving sleepless nights to the police and residents of several villages in the districts, have now reached the State capital.
The same rumours are now spreading in the city and its suburbs, prompting the police to go on an overdrive advising people not to panic. The disturbing trend had begun from Kurnool and Kadapa districts in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh a few weeks ago, forcing villagers to form groups for patrolling their respective areas.
A few days after the initial panic came down, the rumours began circulating in Mahabubnagar district in Telangana. On coming to know that villagers were on the edge after hearing about brain eating gangs and kidnappers, Mahbubnagar Superintendent of Police B Anuradha took up a campaign to instill confidence among people that there were no such gangs in the district.
Even as the district was about to overcome it, the rumours gradually spread to Siddipet and Karimnagar before reaching Hyderabad and its suburbs. On Monday, the Saidabad police issued an advisory asking people not to believe in such information circulated on social media especially WhatsApp groups.
“If people find anyone moving suspiciously in their locality, they can call the police by dialing 100,” said Saidabad Inspector K Sattaiah. The Rachakonda police are also leaving no stone unturned in creating awareness on the false information being spread on social media.
Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh M Bhagwat tweeted on Monday asking people not to believe in false information that some gangs from Bihar and Rajasthan were killing children, women and those staying alone in the house. “There is no truth in the information as there are no such gangs,” he clarified.
Such was the scare that families of labourers residing in a building under construction at Gopanpally on the city outskirts got their children to move and be stationed on the first floor of the building, with sand bags around them, and one person to keep a watch on them.
It has become a duty for one of the family members to sit up till morning to keep a vigil on those moving around in the vicinity at night. There were also rumours that one gang is on the prowl to commit robberies after attacking residents at night. These gangs would first select a house and make a sound as if a baby was crying outside with an intention that the family would open the main door, the rumourmongers said.
Once the family opens the door, they would enter the house and attack them before stealing valuables. However, the police confirmed that they have not come across any such gang so far.
How it started
* Police have asked the public not to believe WhatsApp messages on dangerous gangs
* The rumours began from Kadapa and Kurnool
* They have spread like wildfire across different districts
* The messages are being circulated mostly on WhatsApp and Facebook
* Police said no such gangs were on the prowl
* Messages have reached Hyderabad and suburbs
Cops try to trace source of rumours
Efforts are on to know the origin of the rumours that are being spread across the State about various gangs, said Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) Jitender here on Monday.
“We came to know about the rumours and false information spread on social media, mostly on WhatsApp groups, four days ago,” he said, adding that the police were studying every aspect as why were these rumours circulated at this point of time and who were the persons behind it.
Jitender said there was no truth in such information and people should not get worried. “We are looking into every issue and checking it thoroughly,” he said.
Separate IT wings at Hyderabad and Cyberabad Police Commissionerates are closely monitoring these messages shared on WhatsApp groups and Facebook.
Sources said the police department too was surprised when these rumours started spreading like wild fire and later verified that there were no such gangs in the State. Nevertheless, the department was taking necessary precautionary measures to tackle the situation.