Other States

Water ban on Assam's ‘killer’ family withdrawn

Photo for representation.

Photo for representation.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Villagers accused four sons of a person of murdering him, imposed the ban

A village in north-central Assam’s Udalguri district has decided to withdraw its diktat excommunicating a family accused of murder for 12 years and not allowing them access to water in the area.

The decision was taken after a prolonged meeting between the elders of village Barangajuli Khuti and the Udalguri district unit of the All Assam Gorkha Students’ Union (AAGSU) on Friday.

Situated close to the India-Bhutan border, the village is about 35 km west of district headquarters Udalguri.

Khem Bahadur Bista of the village had allegedly died of alcohol overdose on April 12. But his relatives accused his four sons of murdering him and lodged a complaint with the local police.

The police soon arrested Sanjib Bista and his three brothers and sent them to the district jail in Udalguri. The villagers cremated their father’s body.

But trouble for the quartet began after they were released on bail a couple of days ago. They, along with their mother Leela Chhetri, were barred from using the village’s water sources or procure any kind of fuel for cooking or any other purpose.

The elders also warned the villagers that they would be fined ₹50,000 if found maintaining any contact with the “killer” family.

“There are more than 200 families in the village, and almost all are related to one another. We got in touch with the village elders and said such diktats belong to an era long gone. They agreed to a meeting today [Friday] and saw reason in withdrawing the restrictions on Leela Chhetri and her sons,” Somraj Sonar, president of the district AAGSU unit told The Hindu.

The villagers accepted the AAGSU’s contention that they should let the court decide whether or not the four sons are guilty of murdering their father. A case against them is pending in the local court.

In a signed agreement, the villagers also allowed the four to perform the last rites for their father four months after his death.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 1:37:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/assam-village-withdraws-excommunication-order-on-family/article28801027.ece

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