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Blame it on social media, two youths lynched

GUWAHATI, June 9: In a shocking incident of yet another instance of mob policing, two youths from Guwahati were beaten to death by an agitated mob at a remote location in Karbi Anglong district on suspicion of being child lifters on Friday night. It may be mentioned that similar cases of moral policing have been on the rise even as the social media is made the tool for spreading false and fabricated information.

While condoling the victim’s families and condemning the brutal incident, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has ordered a high-level probe into the incident and the circumstances that led to the brutality. The Chief Minister has also rushed the Additional Director General of Assam Police (Law and Order) Mukesh Agarwala to Dokmoka.”It is condemnable that people are bring killed after being influenced by rumours and superstition,” the Chief Minister said.
The Chief Minister has appealed to the people to maintain peace and also remain vigilant so that such untoward incidents do not happen.

The incident took place in the backdrop of a rumour on social media that a group of ‘sopadhara’(meaning child abductor or lifter in Assamese) were on the prowl in Nagaland’s Dimapur town and some of its adjoining areas in the district.
Karbi Anglong shares a border with Nagaland on the east.

The victims, identified as Nilotpal Das and Abhijeet Nath, had gone to the remote Kathilangso waterfalls in the district’s Dokmoka area, the police said.

They were returning to Guwahati late Friday in their SUV when they were stopped by a mob who suspected them to be child lifters.

The mob then pulled the victims out of their vehicle, tied them up and started beating them in spite of the boys repeatedly saying that they were Assamese and had come to Karbi Anglong only to witness the scenic beauty of the place, the police said.

But the mob refused to believe the victims and beat them to death. They destroyed the vehicle also.
Meanwhile all political parties have flayed the incident.

Condemning the brutal incident, leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia has called for a judicial inquiry into the matter. Terming the murders as another instance of the State Government’s “utter failure to maintain law and order” Saikia expressed concern at the inaction of the local administration.

The AGP has demanded an immediate inquiry into the matter and award exemplary punishment to the culprits.
The AIUDF has also demanded that the culprits must be brought to the book.

Further, the Chief Minister’s Office has asked the public to intimate the security control rooms if any such incidents come to light at the following numbers: DG Control Room: 0361-2521242; mobile number: 9435215029; SB Control Room: 0361-2381511/2380620; whatsapp number: 8749860803.

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Ankur Kalita