Assam | Court fixes December to frame charges against Karbi Anglong lynching accused
GUWAHATI | November 9, 2018:
On Thursday, the Nagaon district and session judge's court had fixed December 1 as the framing of charges against 47 accused who were allegedly involved in the lynching of Nilotpal Das and Abhijeet Nath in Karbi Anglong's Panjuri in June this year.
The special prosecutor appointed by the state government and the counsel of the victims' families during Thursday hearing had prayed for framing charges of murder upon the accused.
Special public prosecutor for the case, advocate Ziaur Kamar, told TOI, "A prayer was submitted before the court to slap charges of murder, wrongful restraint, rioting, unlawful assembly, hurting and deterring a public servant
from his duty upon all the accused persons. Besides, we also prayed to slap additional charges of abetment upon at least seven of the accused for inciting the mob."
The public prosecutor also prayed for slapping additional charges of vandalism upon 22 accused persons for damaging the vehicle in which the victims were travelling. "On the other hand, we also pled to add charges of theft for taking away the wallets of the victims," Kamar added.
The defence also filed a prayer, objecting to how the accused persons were handcuffed while being brought to court. The court will take up this prayer on December 1 too. The public prosecutor said they are going to object to the defence's prayer.
Sources added, "After the court frames the charges upon the accused, the witnesses in the case will be recorded. There were some 70 witnesses to be recorded, out of which 16 were eyewitnesses."
The Gauhati high court had transferred the case to the court following the state government's prayer for shifting the trial out of Karbi Anglong district to conduct a free and fair trial.
Earlier, the Assam Police special investigation team (SIT) had named 48 persons, including a minor, as having been involved in the lynching. One Alfajoj was named as the main accused, who allegedly orchestrated the lynching. Alfajoj had allegedly started a rumour that Nilotpal and Abhijeet were child-lifters, instigating the villagers to set upon them.
On June 8 this year, the victims had gone to a picnic spot at the Kangthilangso waterfall where they were mistaken for child-lifters on the basis of WhatsApp messages allegedly circulated by Alfajoj.
Nilotpal's father, Gopal Chandra Das, said that Hopefully a fast-track court will take up the matter after the charges are framed. He said, 'We want exemplary punishment for the culprits so that such an incident never happens to anyone."