Assam Lynching: Police Arrests Prime Accused; Total Number of Arrests Rise To 64
In connection with the lynching of Nilotpal Das (29) a sound engineer from Mumbai, and his friend Abhijeet Nath (30) in Karbi Anglong district of Assam, Police have arrested the prime accused, Alphajos Timung alias ‘Alpha’, from Burghart area, Assam. The duo was beaten to death by a mob which mistook them for child-lifters followed by fake news circulated in social media, on Friday evening in Karbi Anglong district. The barbaric attack was even recorded and circulated by one of the members of the mob. According to reports on Indian Express, this brings the total number of arrests to 64.
Superintendent of Police S P Ganjala said that the accused, Alphajos Timung alias ‘Alpha,’ a resident of Kangthilangso village was allegedly involved in misleading the villagers by spreading rumors that they were child lifters and asking them to stop the vehicle carrying the two men.
According to Times of India, both the victims were visiting the Kangthilangso waterfalls in Karbi Anglong, and while returning, their vehicle was stopped at Panjuri by a group of violent villagers, who pulled them out and killed them by beating them up for hours mistaking them for child-lifters.
An Assam Police spokesperson said that along with the suspects, many others were arrested in different districts of the state for posting and spreading hate messages and objectionable comments on the social media. During the statewide crackdown of those spreading rumors on the social media, the police have come across a fake Facebook account of Guwahati Police Commissioner Hiren Chandra Nath, who has ordered a probe into the matter. Nath told NDTV “I do not have any social media account except being on WhatsApp. This particular account has been created by someone with some intention, which I do not know. I have asked my officials to look into the matter and take necessary steps. We will take action”.
As per reports Director General of Police (DGP) Kuladhar Saikia had stated that the police were closely monitoring the social media with ADGP (Security) Harmeet Singh in charge to keep a vigilant eye out for rumors. He had also appealed to people not believe rumours that are spread on social media and to immediately inform the police if they came across any such hate messages or posts. “For the past few days, a Facebook post was being circulated that some child lifters have come to Assam. What happened in Karbi Anglong was a tragic fallout of people falling for such rumors,” he said.
Also published on Medium.