Don’t fall for rumours: Parents of Assam lynching victim appeal for calm

Updated on Jun 13, 2018 08:43 AM IST

Rumours on social media about a gang of child abductors from outside the state have led to several incidents of innocents being targeted by mobs in recent days.

People carry out a protest in Guwahati against the lynching of two men on the suspicion of abducting children in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district, on Sunday.(PTI Photo)
People carry out a protest in Guwahati against the lynching of two men on the suspicion of abducting children in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district, on Sunday.(PTI Photo)
Hindustan Times, Guwahati | By

Amid concern that protests against Friday’s lynching of two youngsters could turn ugly, the parents of one of the victims have appealed to people to stay calm while seeking justice.

Nilotpal Das, 29, a sound engineer and musician, and Abhijeet Nath, 30, a businessman, were lynched to death by a group of villagers in Karbi Anglong district on Friday on suspicion of the duo being child abductors. 

At least 40 people have been arrested across Assam so far for spreading rumours about child lifting gangs and hate messages on social media platforms in the aftermath of the brutal lynching.

The gruesome murder, videos of which were posted on social media platforms, has led to demonstrations seeking justice and also fears that a particular community could get targeted. 

The victims, both from Guwahati, were attacked by a mob of Karbi and Bodo tribals near Panjuri Kachari village, nearly 200km from the capital, when they were returning on their SUV after visiting the picturesque Kangthilangso waterfall. 

“At this time of grief we appeal to all sections of people not to indulge in low-level politics over the incident which has shamed Assam—and also not to fall for rumours,” Nioltpal’s parents—Gopal Chandra Das and Radhika Das—appealed in advertisements placed by the state government in newspapers. 

Rumours on social media about a gang of child abductors from outside the state have led to several incidents of innocents being targeted by mobs in recent days. Friday’s incident was also triggered after someone spread the rumour that the victims had abducted a child who was being held captive in their SUV. 

“This incident was carried out by miscreants. We wish that all those who were involved get strict punishment. At the same time, we also want that no innocent is harassed,” the appeal read. Police have arrested 25 people until Tuesday for their involvement in the brutal murders of the two men.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Utpal is a Senior Assistant Editor based in Guwahati. He covers seven states of North-East India and heads the editorial team for the region. He was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times.

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