Assam lynching: 24 arrests, search operation continues

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Guwahati: Another person has been arrested in connection with the lynching of two men on suspicion of being child lifters in Assam, taking the number of people arrested in the case so far to 24, police said.

The person was arrested from Karbi Anglong district during search operations, which were continuing along with investigations, an Assam Police spokesman said here today.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Mukesh Agarwal was monitoring the investigations.

Besides the 24, five others were arrested from Diphu town today for misuse of social media in connection with the incident.

“They have been found to be involved either in recording the incident on mobile phones or circulating the video clip on social media with statements, comments to incite hatred between different communities,” the spokesman said.

The crackdown on the misuse of social media was launched by the police as investigations have brought to light that messages posted on social media on child lifters having entered the state from outside, may have led to the lynching of the two men.

The police have issued an advisory asking people to help prevent spread of rumours on social media.

In a shocking incident on Friday, two friends — Nilotpal Das (29) and Abhijeet Nath (30) — had gone to the Kangthilangso waterfalls in Karbi Anglong and while returning, their vehicle was stopped at Panjuri by a group of irate villagers, who pulled them out and killed them by beating them up for hours on the suspicion that they were child-lifters.

Parents of Nilotpal — Gopal Chandra Das and Radhika Das — have appealed to the people not to give credence to rumours. They also urged the people not to politicise the issue.

“We are grateful to all for extending their support to us in this hour of grief but we appeal to all to maintain peace and calm”, they said in a statement issued here.

They have also appealed to the government to ensure that no more lives were lost due to superstitious beliefs and to create awareness in each village of the state by involving all parties, organisations, students’ unions and others.

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