Jorhat mob lynching: 13 arrested; CM orders first track court hearing



Amidst widespread protest against the lynching of a leader of All Assam Students Union (AASU), 13 individuals, including the prime accused, were arrested from Jorhat town, Assam, on November 30.

Those arrested in connection with the lynching are Mohan Das (71), Niraj Das alias Kolalora (35), Sanju Das (36), Ratul Dutta (33), Bitupan Das (31), Deba Das (19), Jitan Das (22), Siraanjit Das (24), Horulora Das (19), Subhash Bora (32), Mantu Das (29), Abinash Bora (23), Bikram Das (28).

“We have arrested 13 people including the prime accused Neeraj Das, who is a habitual offender,” said Jorhat superintendent of police Ankur Jain.

On November 29, 28-year-old Animesh Bhuyan, education secretary of Brahmaputra Anchalik Students’ Union, was lynched to death by a group of about 60 people in broad daylight at Nirmal Charali following an altercation over a road accident. The mob reportedly attacked Bhuyan, and two others travelling with him, after alleging that the trio’s vehicle had hit an elderly man riding a scooter.

“There was no collision with Bhuyan’s vehicle and the elderly man who had fallen from the scooter himself. He was under the influence of alcohol and created a scene. Bhuyan and two others, who happened to be close by, had rushed to help him but the man started shouting and said that they had run him over. That is when a mob gathered and the situation worsened,” Jain said. The mortal remains of Animesh was handed over to the family members after the post-mortem on Tuesday.

Two other youths - Mridusmanta Baruah (former AASU leader and a correspondent of Pratidin Time) and Pranay Dutta (an AASU activist) - who were injured in the incident and were admitted to JMCH, were discharged on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has ordered Jorhat SP to file chargesheet of the case within a month. The chief minister also announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh to the family of the deceased student leader.

Directing the Assam DGP to closely monitor the investigation, the chief minister also said that the criminals would be tried in a fast-track court.

Hailing from No 1 Khakandaguri village under Brahmaputra region of Dergaon in Golaghat district, Bhuyan was the education secretary of an AASU sub-unit in Upper Assam. 

Speaking about the tragedy, AASU president Dipanka Nath said, “This is a very unfortunate incident…especially because there was no road accident in the first place. On the contrary, the three boys had gone to help the scooterist, and yet, the mob beat one of them to death.”

Earlier during the day, Education Minister Ranoj Pegu visited Khakandaguri village and offered his condolences to the bereaved family members of Bhuyan.

Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Bhupen Kumar Bora too condemned the incident and demanded the state government to give exemplary punishment to the accused.

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