Assam: Violence errupt on lynching, 17 including 7 police injured in protest


GUWAHATI, June 11, 2018: During a protest over the lynching of two youths from the city in Karbi Anglong, seventeen people, including seven policemen, were injured on Sunday after violence erupted on Friday night.

The incident took place a few hours after Guwahati police and Kamrup (metro) district administration urged the people to maintain peace and not to be misled over the lynching.

Nearly 2,000 joined the march which began around 4pm. The protest was organised through a Facebook group by people seeking justice for the Guwahati youths Nilotpal Das and Abhijit Nath, who were lynched on the suspicion of being child kidnappers. The march headed from Gauhati Commerce College to Assam Engineering Institute playground.

"The commotion started after some marchers started pelting stones. Seven of our personnel were injured in stone pelting and we had to resort to a lathicharge to disperse the protesters," deputy commissioner of police (central) Ranjan Bhuyan said.

Khanindra Talukdar, who was part of the march, said 10 protesters, including three girls, were injured in police lathicharge.

The injured protesters were admitted to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).

Biman Sarma, a senior citizen who joined the march, accused the police of caning protesters without provocation. "The protest was peaceful. After returning from the Assam Engineering Institute playground, we were going to light candles at Commerce College point in memory of the two youths. But a group of policemen suddenly started caning us," he alleged.

Jabes Alam, another protester, claimed a group of people reached Commerce College point during the end of the march and started pelting stones at the policemen at the site.

After the violence, the police picked up three youths for interrogation.

Before the incident, the protesters submitted a memorandum to the district administration demanding the police to file the chargesheet in the lynching incident soon and a trial in a fast-track court. They also demanded arrest of the policeman apparently standing without intervening in the video capturing the lynching.

The protesters demanded dismissal of Karbi Anglong deputy commissioner Mridul Kumar Mahanta for his "irresponsible comment" that the duo should have gone to the area after taking permission from the administration.

The protesters said they would meet again at 4pm on Monday in front of Guwahati Planetarium and hold a candlelit procession. Hundreds of residents lit candles demanding justice for Nilotpal and Abhijit at Thana Charali in Tinsukia on Sunday.

Police commissioner, Guwahati, Hiren Chandra Nath, after the incident at Commerce College point, said, "From now, all kinds of protests without the permission of police will be strictly prohibited in the city."

Source: The Telegraph

Featured image: The Telegraph