Assam: Life saved from mob justice, anti-lynch drive bears fruit in Darrang


GUWAHATI, June 28, 2018: Following the recent lynching case of two youths in Karbi Anglong suspecting them to be child-lifters, an awareness drive was launched in Assam which has yielded a positive result in Darrang district when villagers, instead of taking the law into their own hands, handed over a suspected child-lifter to police on Tuesday night.

Police said because of the sensible act of the residents of Number 5 Arimari village under Kharupetia police station, an innocent life was saved from mob justice.

Kharupetia police station officer-in-charge Chandan Goswami told the media that the person, suspected to be a child-lifter by the villagers, was found to be mentally ill, and could not even recall his age, let alone his address and other details.

"A rumour about a xopadhora (child-lifter) on the prowl caused panic at Arimari village and the villagers caught Kusum Ali suspecting him to be a child-lifter. But luckily the villagers informed the police rather than taking any action on their own, which resulted in saving an innocent life," Goswami said.

"We have forwarded the mentally challenged person, who is in his late fifties, to court on Wednesday. Further processes will be initiated as per law," he said. He is likely to be sent to a mental asylum.

"It seems our awareness campaign against xopadhora rumours bore fruit," he said.

Goswami said after the lynching of youths in Karbi Anglong, they had organised several awareness meetings, including the biggest one on the Assam Club premises in Kharupetia on Saturday, which was addressed by Darrang superintendent of police T. Sreejith and other senior officials and was attended by more than 500 people, including village defence personnel, village headmen and prominent citizens.

"At that meeting we appealed to the people to inform the police instead of taking the law into their own hands if they notice anything suspicious. We also circulated our phone numbers among the villagers," Goswami said.

Assam police undertook the awareness drive across the state after two young men, Nilotpal Das and Abhijit Nath from Guwahati, were beaten to death in central Assam's Karbi Anglong district on the night of June 8.

According to reports, rumours about child snatchers being on the prowl were doing the rounds on social media and that evening, word spread that the men had a child in their car. Das pleaded to his attackers not to kill him as he was an Assamese, but his pleas fell on deaf ears. He had long dreadlocks and this reportedly marked him out as a xopadhora. The murderous crowd battered the two men – who had driven to a picturesque waterfall at Dokmoka from Guwahati – for over an hour but no police came to their rescue.

After that incident, the police have also clamped down on people spreading rumours and hatred on social media and taken action against acts of moral policing.

Source: The Telegraph

Featured image: The Telegraph