Family says lynched Dimapur man was framed, point to their Army ties

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Guwahati
  • Updated: Mar 07, 2015 19:33 IST

Medical reports and circumstantial evidence are yet to confirm the allegation of rape levelled against him. But the nationality of Syed Farid Khan, the man lynched by a mob of thousands in Dimapur, is now beyond doubt.

Apart from being arrested on a charge of rape, Khan was accused of being an "IBI", an abbreviation commonly used in Nagaland for "illegal Bangladeshi immigrant".

Farid Khan, also known as Sarif Uddin, belonged to Bosla village in Karimganj district. The village in southern Assam is located 350 km from Guwahati.

"The Khans have been there for generations, like many Bengali-speaking Muslims in Barak Valley (of south Assam)," Sanjib Gohain Baruah, the deputy commissioner of Karimganj, told HT.

Farid's deceased father, Sirajuddin Khan, served in the Indian Army's Military Engineering Service for more than 20 years.

READ: Brother of businessman lynched by Dimapur mob blames Naga groups, cops

His two elder brothers--Kamaluddin and Jamaluddin--too are soldiers in the army. Another brother, Imanuddin, died of wounds sustained while fighting in the Kargil War of 1999.

Farid's younger brother Suberuddin, who runs a business in Dimapur, said his sibling was framed for not paying Rs 2 lakh that was demanded by a local woman and her friends. Demand for "donations" - a euphemism for extortion - from traders, particularly non-locals, are commonplace in Dimapur.

"After meeting him in jail on February 25, I decided to return home since the situation in Dimapur was volatile. We have lost touch with my brother's wife, a Naga woman, and their three-year-old daughter," Suberuddin said. The woman who accused Farid of rape was known to his wife, he said.

Several Muslim organisations have called for a shutdown in Barak Valley on Sunday. At some places, protestors on Saturday burnt effigies of Union home minister Rajnath Singh and Nagaland chief minister T R Zeliang for failing to prevent the lynching of Farid on Thursday.

Farid's body was handed over to his kin in Assam on Saturday after being transported from Nagaland by a police escort. The body was taken to Kohima, the state capital located 75 km from Dimapur , for an autopsy.

READ: Dimapur lynching: Three officials suspended; Assam, Nagaland on alert

On Saturday morning, police officials entrusted the body to members of the Muslim Council of Dimapur (MCD).

"We took the body to a local mosque for some rites before driving to Khatkhati in Assam, where it was handed over to Khan's kin and Assam Police in the afternoon," Ahidur Rahman, working president of MCD, told Hindustan Times from Dimapur.

Nagaland Police escorted the body when it was taken to Assam.

The body will be taken to Farid's village Bosla for burial.

Rahman claimed rumour mongers were trying to whip up passion against non-locals in Nagaland and against Nagas in Assam. "We appeal for peace, for violent reactions on both sides of the border would take us to a point of no return," he said.

Earlier, the MCD issued a joint appeal with the Naga Hoho - the traditional apex body of Naga tribes - for maintaining peace and tranquillity.

The two organisations reminded people how restraint after the rape of a Naga woman by five alleged Bangladeshis in February 2012 had helped in maintaining harmony. "In that case, we demanded capital punishment for the rapists, besides asking the local authorities to undertake a registration drive of all genuine Muslim residents in Dimapur to check heinous crimes often committed by immigrant Muslims," an MCD spokesperson said.

Farid was beaten to death on Thursday by a mob of thousands that stormed the Central Jail in Dimapur and took him away. The mob stripped the 35-year-old man naked and paraded him through the town before he was beaten to death and his body hung from a clock tower in the heart of Dimapur.

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