Protests erupt in Assam; CM Gogoi blames CSF for attack

Administration deploys paramilitary forces to instill a sense of security

Guwahati: Truckers in Assam on Saturday stopped plying their vehicles to Dimapur and other parts of Nagaland in protest against the lynching of a rape accused in Nagaland’s commercial hub, Dimapur, on Thursday.

Police arrest activists of Asomiya Yuva Mancha who staged a protest in front of Nagaland House in Guwahati on Saturday against killing of a 35-year old businessman of Assam in Dimapur, Nagaland. Pic/PTI
Police arrest activists of Asomiya Yuva Mancha who staged a protest in front of Nagaland House in Guwahati on Saturday against killing of a 35-year old businessman of Assam in Dimapur, Nagaland. Pic/PTI

At least 17 truckers’ bodies in Assam said on Saturday that the protest will continue until the victim’s family gets justice. “The killing of Syed Farid Khan, a Dimapur based businessman from Assam, is an inhuman act.

The Nagaland government must provide adequate compensation to the family of the victim and ensure that no other traders or businessman of Assam is harassed in Nagaland,” said a member of the All Assam Truck Owners’ Association.

Apart from truckers’ bodies, different civil society organisations have also staged dharnas in different parts of Assam protesting against the killing. Protests were also reported from different parts of the state, including Karimganj, and a strict vigil was being maintained to prevent any untoward incident.

Amnesty International expresses concern
International Human Rights body, Amnesty International has also expressed its concern over the killing and said that members of the mob who lynched the rape accused must be brought to justice urgently. “The Nagaland government must ensure that every person who was part of the mob is brought to justice,” said Shemeer Babu, Programmes Director at Amnesty International India. The Nagaland government has instituted a judicial probe into the incident and suspended three top officials of the district — the deputy commissioner, superintendent of police and jail superintendent — for their failure to handle the situation.

Victim’s body reaches Assam
Meanwhile on Saturday, the situation in Dimapur slowly returned to normalcy, with Section 144 CrPC continuing to be in force in the town. Additional Director of Police, Akito Sema said the administration has also deployed 11 companies of Indian Reserve Battalions (IRB) and three companies of CRPF to maintain law and order.

Sema also said the police are under the process of registering cases against those responsible for lynching the rape accused and arson in the town. “There are sufficient video clippings police can access,” he said.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said yesterday that the security at Dimapur Central Jail, from where the rape accused was dragged out and lynched by a mob, was under central security forces who failed to stop the lynching. “It is the Centre who is responsible for ensuring the security of the inmates,” he added. Gogoi has also written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to ensure that proper action is taken against those responsible for the lynching.

The Nagaland authorities on Saturday handed over the body of victim to his family in Khatkhati area on the Assam-Nagaland border. Later, his body was taken to his native village in Assam’s Karimganj district.

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