Guwahati/Nagaon: Fake news claims more victims by the day. Two guys who went on a trip to see a waterfall were beaten to death by frenzied villagers. Following massive protests across Assam on Sunday, fifteen people have been arrested overnight for the lynching of two young sightseers in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district on Friday, 10 more for allegedly spreading hate messages and a teenaged boy over “fake news” about child kidnappers on Facebook.
Massive protest rallies were held in different parts of the city throughout the day today( June 10) against the barbaric killing of two youths in Karbi Anglong on Friday. Candle marches were also organised by various organisations demanding justice for Abhijeet Nath and Nilotpal Das who were beaten to death by a frenzied mob in Karbi Anglong, where they were mistaken as ‘child lifters’.
The duo had gone to Karbi Anglong for a pleasure trip when their vehicle was intercepted, and after which they were beaten to death. At places, the protest turned ugly and the police had to resort to baton-charge to disperse a section of ‘unruly’ protesters.
At RG Baruah Road, GNB Rood and Ganeshguri, people from all walks of life joined the protest marches and demanded that the case be tried on a fast-track basis.
Several organisations also submitted memorandums demanding stringent action against the culprits.
Guwahati Police Commissioner Hiren Nath said while the protest programme was largely peaceful, a section of them pelted stones at the police near the Gauhati Commerce College point.
“The situation was brought under control immediately,” Nath said.
The arrests came amid violent protests against the lynchings – which were triggered apparently by the suspicion that the duo were child kidnappers – in various parts of the state and the “exodus” of Karbi Anglong natives from neighbouring Nagaon district, fearing attacks.
Police rounded up 11 members and supporters of the Congress student wing, National Students’ Union of India, in Nagaon town after they allegedly tried to attack people from Karbi Anglong on Saturday at bus stands and markets. One of them was later arrested, officers said.
Dibrugarh police arrested a man, Simanta Terang, for allegedly posting hate messages on social media, and nine others were arrested on similar charges from other districts.
Seventeen people, including seven policemen, were injured in Guwahati on Sunday as a march by 2,000 people protesting the lynchings erupted in violence.
A mob of 200 to 250 people in Panijuri village had allegedly beaten to death Nilotpal Das, 29, and Abhijit Nath, 30, who had arrived from Guwahati to see a nearby waterfall, on Friday night.
Officers have blamed the killings on “fake news” circulating across social media for the past few days about child kidnappers from outside Assam being on the prowl across the state.
Bhupendra Terang, 18, a resident of district headquarters Diphu, was arrested on Saturday night and booked under the IT Act for allegedly posting false information on Facebook about child kidnappers.
Five people were arrested over the lynching on Saturday, and 10 more on Sunday. All are aged between 18 and 49.
“A few more people involved in the lynching have been identified but they are in hiding. We are searching for them,” Assam director-general of police Kuladhar Saikia said.