GUWAHATI, June 11 – The horror of the consequences of fake news has hit the northeast India hard, especially Assam. The killing of the two tourists have reaped the whirlwind of protests, followed by venom and sectarianism as more vested interests try to fish in troubled waters.
Vehemently condemning the inhuman killing of two innocent youths by a frenzied mob at a Karbi Anglong village on Friday, the Coordination Committee of Tribal Organisations of Assam today demanded exemplary legal punishment to those involved in the crime.The committee also urged the people to exercise restraint so as not to add a communal colour to the episode and maintain communal harmony.
“We unequivocally condemn the dastardly killing of two youths by a mob. The guilty must be booked and punished exemplarily as per law. At the same time, we have witnessed distressing happenings in the form of intimidation to Karbi people – especially students and employees residing in different parts of Assam – which is also equally condemnable. This needs to stop and all sections of people need to exercise restraint and maintain harmony,” the committee leadership, which included its chief convenor Aditya Khaklari and All Bodo Students’ Union president Pramod Bodo, said at a press conference.
The committee, while welcoming the prompt steps initiated by the police and the administration in nabbing the culprits and also in containing any possible flare-up in the aftermath of the lynching, said that the authorities needed to be on the maximum alert for preventing any deterioration in the situation.
“Some elements with vested interest are trying to add communal and political colour to the unfortunate incident which was actually the result of deep-rooted superstitious beliefs among a backward community living in an interior place. All saner elements of society must stand against such vested interest groups,” they said.
The committee leadership also voiced grave concern over the misuse of social media in spreading misinformation and rousing hatred and communal passion.
“The police and the administration must try to put some curb on the rampant misuse of social media. But, at the same time, people in general, particularly the youth who are largely hooked to social media, must be judicious in their use of social media so that it does not lead to any untoward situation,” they said.
The committee leadership further called upon all concerned to put up a concerted effort to reach out to the backward and superstitious communities through awareness and sensitisation programmes.
“These segments of people are in urgent need of education and modern healthcare. All of us must contribute towards their uplift so that they can come out of the quagmire of superstitions and irrational beliefs,” they said.
The Convening Committee of the Indigenous Tribal Sahitya Sabhas, Assam, has also strongly condemned the lynching and demanded stringent punishment for the guilty.
The committee said in a statement that the village had been under the grip of unfounded rumours circulating in social media about the presence of child-lifters, which ultimately proved to be fatal for the two innocent duo.
The committee also urged all concerned to be on the guard against the efforts of vested interest groups hell-bent on damaging the unity of the different communities living in Assam by using the incident as a pretext to divide the people.
“The people of Assam have been fighting for various causes of the State, including the illegal migration from Bangladesh, as evident from the common stand taken by the All Assam Students’ Union and 28 organisations of the indigenous people. This unity is our strength and must not be allowed to be weakened by vested interest elements,” committee president Govinda Taid and general secretary Kamalakanta Mushahary said.
It also urged one and all not to be swayed by hate-mongering in social media. “Social media has been widely misused to spread canards against the Karbis and the Bodos following the unfortunate incident. We request all to be judicious in their use of social media and not play into the hands of those who want to destroy the age-old unity and camaraderie in Assam,” it said.