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16 Arrested for Lynching 2 Youths in Assam's Karbi Anglong, Thousands Rally for Justice

Tens of thousands descended on the streets of Guwahati carrying placards, condemning the incident, and demanding justice for the innocent victims.

Karishma Hasnat | News18

Updated:June 11, 2018, 10:43 AM IST
16 Arrested for Lynching 2 Youths in Assam's Karbi Anglong, Thousands Rally for Justice
Thousands rally in Guwahati on Sunday against the lynching two men. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Moving swiftly, the Assam Police have arrested 16 people in connection with the lynching of two Guwahati-based youths in Karbi Anglong district on Friday night.

Nilutpal Das and Abhijit Nath were battered to death on suspicion of being child lifters.

The arrested persons have been booked under Section 302/34 of IPC, and interrogation is on.

Additional Director General of Police, Mukesh Agarwal, told News 18 that the ‘core group’ of 15 people directly involved in the attack have been picked up on basis of field information and technical intelligence.

“We have arrested 16 persons, so far – 15 of them are directly involved in the attack, while one has been arrested for posting objectionable content on social media inciting communal violence, soon after the incident took place. We are treading meticulously in this case, and investigation is on. There’s no substance to the rumour of ‘Sopadhora’ (child lifters) in the area that comprises 4-5 villages. But it had created a fear psychosis among people here,” said Agarwal.

The incident happened when the two boys were on their way to the Kanthi Langso picnic spot when their vehicle was attacked by a group of men at Panjuri Kachari village, 16 km from Dokmoka town, at around 8:42pm.

Eyewitnesses said the two boys were brutally hit by bamboo poles and wood, and tortured to death by a mob of ‘inebriated’ villagers.

“It happened when a local informed a group of villagers about two men travelling in a black car with an abducted child. This group of men were drinking at the nearby dhaba,” said a shopkeeper of the area who was present at the time of the incident.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal held a meeting today with top police officials and directed them to ensure that no one found guilty be spared.

Assam Director General of Police (DGP), Kuladhar Saikia, while addressing the media, requested people not to believe in rumours. Chief Secretary of Assam, T Y Das, was also present in the press conference.

“People should not believe in rumours – these stories of ‘Sopadhora’ or Monkey Man are fragments of someone’s imagination. We have directed the superintendent of police (SPs) in each district to take legal action against anyone found spreading rumour on social media,” said DGP Saikia.

Meanwhile, police have launched a crackdown on anti-social elements trying to disturb public order and incite violence by posting objectionable and unsubstantiated content on social media. Two persons have been arrested so far from Guwahati and Biswanath district.

People across the state have taken to the streets demanding justice for Nilutpal and Abhijit. Tens of thousands descended on the streets of Guwahati on Sunday afternoon carrying placards condemning the incident and demanding stringent punishment for the culprits.

assam lynching protest (People took to streets demanding justice in the lynching case)

“We are different communities living in Assam, and there should be no insecurity among each other. They killed two of our brothers, for no fault of theirs. If justice is not met, protests would only aggravate,” said one of the protesters.

Elsewhere in Karbi Anglong, various groups, including the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the Karbi Students’ Association (KSA), led a protest march, demanding that justice be served.

| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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