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Lynching of Assam duo was planned: Police

GUWAHATI: The Assam police on Tuesday said the lynching of audio engineer Nilotpal Das and businessman Abhijeet Nath on June 8 was planned by a man who had had at least three others killed similarly since 2012.

This came to light after the police arrested Alphajos Timung, one of the main accused in the lynching, from Bheloghat Beygaon under Dokmoka police station in Karbi Anglong district late Tuesday night.

Kuladhar Saikia, the state’s Director General of Police, said 28 people have so far been arrested in connection with the lynching. They include Mr. Timung who had confessed to setting the villagers of Panjuri Kacharigaon upon Mr. Das and Mr. Nath.

Interrogation revealed Mr. Timung had a quarrel with the duo near Kangthilangso waterfall, where they had gone. He brought more friends and tried to get into a fight, but the two left the place sensing trouble.

“Timung called up the villagers and told them he had seen two men fleeing in a black SUV with an abducted child. The villagers, on edge because of the scare circulated via social media, believed the story, stopped the vehicle and bludgeoned the two to death,” Mr. Saikia said.

As it turned out, Mr. Timung had allegedly been involved in the lynching of two youths in 2012 after spreading rumours that they were United People’s Democratic Solidarity militants. Two years later he was accused of killing another person in a similar manner.

The DGP said 35 people have also been arrested for spreading rumours and hate messages through social media. They include two who had used a fake Facebook account of Guwahati Commissioner of Police Hiren Kumar Nath.

Meanwhile, Law Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharyya said the Dokmoka lynching would be tried at a fast-track court. He also said a five-year-old case of lynching in Karbi Anglong district headquarters Diphu would be reopened.

On June 25, 2013, a group of auto-rickshaw drivers had thrashed 21-year-old Jhankar Saikia and his lawyer-father Haren Saikia after they had refused to pay ₹30 instead of the regular fare of ₹20. The father survived the lynching, but the son died in a hospital on July 1.

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Printable version | Mar 26, 2020 9:05:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lynching-of-assam-duo-was-planned-police/article24156172.ece

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