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Main accused in Assam student leader’s lynching dies in ‘accident’

Students of the Cotton University light candles to pay tribute to All Assam Students’ Union leader Animesh Bhuyan, who was lynched by a mob following an alleged road accident in Assam’s Jorhat district, in Guwahati, on November 30, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The main accused in the mob lynching of a student leader in eastern Assam’s Jorhat on November 29 died in an accident while allegedly trying to escape from police custody.

Neeraj Das died when he was hit by an escort vehicle after jumping off a police van around 2 a.m. on December 1, the Jorhat district police said.

Also read | Assam lynching: CM Himanta wants chargesheet in 30 days

He was the 28th to have died in police custody or while trying to evade arrest or escape since May. Most of the others were accused of drug peddling, cattle smuggling, rape, murder and other crimes.

Das was alleged to have led a mob of more than 50 people that lynched and killed All Assam Students’ Union leader Animesh Bhuyan. He was said to have instigated the mob after the student leader and two others were suspected to have hit his father with their vehicle.

Jorhat’s Superintendent of Police Ankur Jain said Das was among 13 people arrested for the lynching incident and had a criminal record of drug trafficking.

“During interrogation, he told us about a consignment of drugs. He jumped out of a moving vehicle when our team took him to recover the consignment, but the escort vehicle hit him,” Mr. Jain said.

He said the driver of the escort vehicle tried to avoid hitting him, lost control and hit a nearby wall injuring three policemen. An injured Das was rushed to the Jorhat Medical College Hospital where he was declared brought dead.

On November 30, the Jorhat police produced 12 of the 13 accused at a local court, which sent seven of them to police custody for five days and the rest to judicial custody. Das was not produced in court.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 4:01:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/main-accused-in-assam-student-leaders-lynching-dies-in-accident/article37783803.ece

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