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Abhi-Neel lynching: Where’s the justice? 1456 days and counting

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On June 8, 2018, two friends – Nilotpal and Abhijeet – were pulled out of their vehicle at Panjuri in Karbi Anglong district and beaten to death by a group of irate villagers
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Guwahati: The 2018 Karbi Anglong lynching was a violent incident of mob lynching that took place in Panjuri village of Karbi Anglong, Assam, in India on June 8, 2018.

It seemed like an open-and-shut case when the lynching case of Abhijeet Nath and Nilotpal Das had gone to trial.

No doubt there were many witnesses, and the case was expected to be in favour of the victims and pose difficulties for the bail of the attackers. But, the trial is still trundling even after four years (1456 days).

On Wednesday, Assam along with the families of Abhijeet Nath and Nilotpal Das observed the fourth death anniversary of the duo at their homes in Guwahati.

About the incident

On June 8, 2018, two friends – Nilotpal and Abhijeet – were pulled out of their vehicle at Panjuri in Karbi Anglong district and beaten to death by a group of irate villagers with bamboo sticks, wooden planks and kicks suspecting them to be child abductors. The Assam Police arrested over 40 persons including the prime accused in relation to the case.

Hours after the attack on the duo, the attackers also posted a video on Facebook. In the viral video, Nilotpal is seen pleading before his attackers with folded hands that he was an Assamese. “Don’t kill me…please don’t beat me. I am an Assamese. Believe me, I am speaking the truth. My father’s name is Gopal Chandra Das and my mother’s name is Radhika Das…please let me go,” these were Nilotpal’s last words before he was killed.

The incident sent shock waves across the country. Thousands took to the streets and took part in social media campaigns demanding a fast-track trial in the case. People from several countries like the USA, Iran, Russia, Nepal, Philippines, and Thailand stood with placards, condemning the lynching.

Assam Police submits 844-page chargesheet

The Assam Police submitted an 844-page chargesheet on September 1, 2018. A total of 20 out of 47 accused named in the chargesheet have been identified so far. They are Timung, Bikram Hanse, Mensing Kro, Raikom Timung, Babu Singh Kro, Phukon Lekhte, Pres Timung, Rotneswar Terang, Onda Mech, Bidyasing Rongpi, Rupsing Kro, Babu Rongpi, Anos Timung, Inosen Engti, Sikhari Rongpi, Waresh Rongpi, Biswaram Swargiari, Dhono Mech, Dipjyoti Basumatary and Pangtheng Basumatary.

The case was filed under Sections 302, 341, 427, 143, 144, 147, 148, 149, 109, 332 and 186 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

June 8, 2018

Nilotpal, a sound engineer based in Goa, and Abhijeet, a businessman from Guwahati had gone to a picnic spot Kangthilangso in Karbi Anglong on June 8, 2018. The duo was stopped by some villagers at Panjuri under Dokmoka Police Station on their way back, pulled out of the car and beaten up to death with bamboo sticks and kicks over suspicion of being child-lifters.

The SUV in which they were travelling was also vandalised by the angry mob. The mob attack took place at around 7.40 pm.

Assam Police said that Alfajoz allegedly had an argument with Nilotpal and Abjijeet, following which he spread the rumour that they were child-lifters, to instigate the villagers. He asked the villagers to intercept the car and detain the two boys, police said.

Meanwhile, the friends and family members of the duo urged the citizens of Guwahati to join them for a mime act on the theme of mob lynching to spread awareness to curb this social evil.

The event was organized at the Guwahati press club on Wednesday.

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