Hyderabad: The family of the software engineer, who was lynched to death on suspicion of being child-traffickers in Karnataka's Bidar district, on Sunday sought justice. Identified as Mohammed Azam Usmansab, the techie from Hyderabad was with Accenture and through them was working on a project with Google.
The incident took place on Friday night when the deceased had gone for a drive with his friends. A pall of gloom has gripped the house of Azam, 28, in Errakunta in the old city of Hyderabad.
The body of Azam, the father of a two-year-old child, was brought to the city late on Saturday and was buried at a graveyard near his house.
As many as 30 people have been arrested in connection with the lynching including an administrator (admin) of a WhatsApp group that spread rumours about child-lifting gangs and galvanised the mob, besides the person who shot the pictures of the attack and circulated it.
Three friends of Azam, who were also injured in the mob attack, were admitted to a private hospital in the city. They include Salham Eid Al Kubasi, a Qatari national and a friend of Azam who was on a vacation to India.
Azam's brother Mohammad Akram, also a techie, urged the Telangana government to take up the issue with the Karnataka government for a proper investigation into the incident.
"The guilty should be punished so that no other innocent loses his life in this manner," said Akram.
He recalled that their cousin Noor Mohammad, Salham, Mohammad Salman and another friend came to meet Azam on Friday. "They left the house around 11 a.m. We did not know that they were going out of the city," said Akram.
According to Azam's relatives, they were sitting by a lake and taking pictures when they saw some school students coming. They offered them chocolates out of affection.
The chocolates were offered by Slaham who had brought them from Qatar. The parents and the locals objected to it, realizing they didn't belong from there.
However, when the locals saw strangers offering chocolates to children, they mistook them to be child lifters. They started questioning them. Sensing trouble, the group left the place in their car.
A few residents of the hamlet alerted people of nearby village Murki over their mobile phones. They were beaten with stones and sticks
At Murki, a mob chased the car and forced it to stop. The mob dragged out the occupants and started beating them with sticks and stones. After some time, police rushed to the spot and dispersed the mob.
While Azam died on the spot, others sustained critical injuries. Two of them were battling for life at a hospital in Hyderabad.
"We are software engineers. Do we look like child lifters," asked Akram, who fails to understand why the mob did not believe their clarifications. The young man wants the governments to take some serious action to stop lynching over rumours being spread through WhatsApp.
More than 20 people have been killed across India over rumours in the last few months.
(With inputs from agencies)