Assam mob lynching: Prime accused, 12 others in police net

Case to be tried in fast-track court; chargesheet to be filed within 30 days: CM

GUWAHATI, Nov 30: Police have arrested 13 persons, including the prime accused, in Monday’s mob lynching of a young All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) leader in the heart of Jorhat town in Upper Assam even as the state government has assured that the accused would be tried in a fast-track court.

Reportedly, the prime accused, Niraj Das alias ‘Kola Lora’, who has a history of committing crimes with several cases, including drug trafficking, registered against him, was absconding but was eventually arrested on Tuesday by Jorhat police.

The deceased, Animesh Bhuyan, the education secretary of the Brahmaputra Anchalik unit of AASU (Golaghat), along with two other persons, had come to Jorhat from his village on Monday afternoon to procure some items when a mob mercilessly beat them up near Nirmal Chariali, a commercial area in the heart of the town.

Sources said Animesh, along with two others, were trying to help an elderly man, who was injured in a minor mishap in the area. However, it was reported that the injured man, instead of thanking the trio, raised a hue and cry, following which a mob went berserk and attacked them for about half an hour.

Animesh later succumbed to grievous head injuries and was declared dead by doctors at Jorhat Medical College and Hospital (JMCH).

The two injured, Mridusmanta Baruah (a journalist) and Pranoy Dutta (an AASU member), are currently undergoing treatment for grievous injuries at JMCH.

Among the other arrested accused identified include Mohan Das (71) (Niraj’s father and the person injured in the mishap), Deba Das, Sanju Das, Ratul Dutta, Sarulora Das, Chiranjib Das, Bitopan Das, Bikram Das, Subhash Bora, Jiten Das, Montu Das and Abhinash Bora.

All the arrested accused were produced in the court on Tuesday.

Videos of the barbaric incident, recorded by some witnesses on mobile phones, had gone viral on social media on Monday.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, while condemning the incident and pledging stringent action against those involved in the lynching, instructed the police to file a charge-sheet within 30 days.

“All the accused in the case have been arrested and I have directed the administration to carry out the trial in a fast-track court. Special DGP (law and order) G.P Singh has been asked to personally monitor the investigation and file the chargesheet within 30 days,” Sarma informed through Twitter on Tuesday.

The state government has also assured to install a statue of Animesh Bhuyan at the site of the incident to create awareness against such acts.

Assam minister Ranoj Pegu on Tuesday visited Animesh’ residence at Khakandaguri village under Dergaon police station in Golaghat district, and met the bereaved family members.

Condemning the incident, AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath demanded the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the incident.

“So far, none of the mob lynching victims’ families has been given justice. Besides, we have witnessed at least three such incidents in Jorhat district itself in the past two years, which is a grim reminder of the loopholes that exist in the administration. So we demand a water-tight case be made and stringent punishment to the guilty so that such incidents never occur,” Nath said.

The Jorhat district magistrate on Monday directed the sub-divisional magistrate to conduct a magisterial inquiry into the incident and submit a report within 10 days.

The influential students’ union on Tuesday staged a protest programme in Jorhat town, while AASU units across the state condemned the incident and demanded stringent action against the culprits.

The incident has sparked widespread outrage with citizens, pressure groups and political parties demanding exemplary punishment to the culprits.

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