Guwahati, July 12, 2019
Another eyewitness of the heart wrenching Abhijeet-Nilotpal lynching case has allegedly turned hostile. The eyewitness – Dipen Rongpi allegedly changed his statement in a hearing held on July 12th, 2019 in the court of the District and Session Judge, Nagaon.
Prosecution witnesses – Numal Basumatary and Ujjal Mech had also changed their versions while giving statements before the court earlier.
“A total of three out of nine eyewitnesses have turned hostile in the case so far,” Ittisha Sarah, a friend of Nilotpal Das said.
Speaking to TIME8 over the telephone, Sarah said, “Rongpi denied all the statements he had given before the magistrate earlier about the incident. He changed his statements in the hearing held today and said that he was not present at the place of occurrence of the incident.”
Sarah also said that Rongpi had also identified as many as nine accused involved in the heinous crime. “He had also stated names of the persons who had hit Nilotpal with a big boulder and Abhijeet with a machete on his leg,” she added.
“Rongpi told the judge that he was tutored by the police,” Sarah said.
The next hearing will be held on July 23rd, 2019.
Witnesses booked for misguiding court
A criminal case under section 193 (punishment for false evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered on July 12th, 2019 at the Court of District and Session Judge, Nagaon against the two prosecution witnesses – Numal Basumatary and Ujjal Mech for turning hostile. The case has been fixed on August 17th, 2019 for necessary orders.
It may be mentioned that both the witnesses had changed their versions and given statements before the court that they were tutored by the police by threatening them.
Later, on the basis of a petition, the court had granted permission for the re-examination of the witnesses.
Both the accused have been booked for deliberately giving false statements in the trial before the court.
In black and white
The Assam Police submitted the 844-page charge sheet on September 1st, 2018. A total of 20 out of 47 accused named in the charge sheet 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.
June 8th, 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 8th, 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 in 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.
A case was filed under Sections 302, 341, 427, 143, 144, 147, 148, 149, 109, 332 and 186 of the IPC.