(CNN)Twenty-seven people have been arrested after two men were beaten to death by a mob following false social media reports suggesting they were child kidnappers, police in India said.
Two men killed over false child kidnapping claims on WhatsApp, Facebook
Abhijit Nath and Nilotpal Das, both 30, were attacked by a group of men in the Karbi Anglong district of the northeastern state of Assam.
A rumor that child kidnappers were operating in the mainly rural area had been circulating on WhatsApp and Facebook groups for days, police told CNN. The black SUV the victims were using was forced to stop and Nath and Das were attacked, police said.
"Some people had seen the vehicle coming and a few people in the village said that the car might be being used to kidnap children. The two victims had stopped in the area. It was a normal visit," said Assam police Director General Kuldhar Saikia.
"The news spread just like that. The rumor was that some child abductors would come and take their child and they just though that this car was being used to lift children."