Another shocking mob lynching case has taken place in Assam where a 23-year-old student leader was beaten to death in upper Assam’s Jorhat town on Monday. A video of the incident that took place in the evening went viral on social media. The video shows around 50-60 people brutally attacking All Assam Student Leader Animesh Bhuyan and his two friends in a crowded place where allegedly a couple of Assam police personnel were also present who remained helpless spectators of the heinous crime.
Witness says the mob attacked them after they tried to help one elderly person who met with a minor two-wheeler accident. They were trying to help the person who fell from his scooter on the road when a crowd led by a few unscrupulous persons started attacking them alleging they were responsible for the accident.
Animesh and his friends had kept on shouting about their innocence but the mob paid no heed and had beaten them to a pulp. The Jorhat Police team reached on spot in some time and the grievously injured trio was rushed to the Jorhat Medical College Hospital (JMCH), where doctors declared Animesh Bhuyan dead on arrival.
The deceased AASU leader was the education secretary of AASU Brahmaputra Anchal (Golaghat Unit) along with the other two who travelled to Jorhat for some work on Monday. The two people injured are Mridusmanta Baruah, a journalist with a private television channel and Pranay Datta, another local AASU leader.
Animesh’s tragic death triggered a rage across the State and so far police have arrested 13 people including the main accused ‘kola lora or kola gunda’ aka Niraj Das. Other identified culprits arrested by the Assam police are Bitopan Das, Abinash Bora, Chiranjib Das, Bikram Das, Subas Bora, Deba Das, Saru Lora Das and Mohan Das. The main accused ‘kola lora’ who was absconding since Monday was arrested on Tuesday. The case has been registered under sections 147/148/149/326/302 of IPC.
Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma has announced Animesh mob lynching case will be tried in a fast track court and he has also directed the police to file a charge sheet within 15 days. Education Minister Dr Ranoj Pegu visited the victim’s residence in Khakandaguri Village following Assam Chief Minister’s direction and assured the family of swift justice. Pegu accompanied by MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi shared pictures of his visit to Bhuyan’s house on his Twitter handle and wrote: “At Khakandaguri village under Dergaon PS, visited and offered my condolences to the bereaved family members of Animesh Bhuyan who was brutally killed in Jorhat yesterday. Hon’ble CM Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma has already ordered police to file the chargesheet within 15 days,”
Special Director General of Police (Law & Order), Assam GP Singh on his Twitter handle on Monday evening said the investigation shall be monitored at the highest level including the CID, Assam Police, the Assam government and the CMO.
AASU President Dipaka Nath and chief adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya also visited the victim’s residence and met his family members. AASU President assured that the student organisation would fight for Animesh’s family and demanded capital punishment for his killers. Dr Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya appealed for a time-bound justice. The Jorhat lynching death is just an addition to the long list of victims lynched to death in the State over the years. In 2018, a nationwide reaction poured when two Guwahati youths Nilutpal Das, an audio engineer, and Abhijeet Nath, a digital artist, were lynched to death by a mob in Karbi Anglong. Their families still are awaiting justice.
The latest crime spot Jorhat district has alone seen three lynching cases in the last three years. In 2019, a veteran doctor Dr Deben Dutta was lynched to death in a tea garden area. Next year, another person Debasish Gogoi was lynched to death and this year, 23-year-old Animesh is murdered by the mob.
While many are blaming the police, administration and even the drug menace allegedly running in the area where the incident took place, some others are questioning the failure of the collective conscience of a society where mob lynching cases are so frequent. Pendency and delaying justice in mob violence cases are also criticised for gruesome crimes.