Death of main accused in lynching of AASU leader sparks jubilation and concern in Assam: the Tribune India
Guwahati, December 1
The main accused of the lynching of the leader of the AASU in Jorhat died after being struck by a police vehicle while trying to escape police custody on Wednesday morning, which sparked the jubilation of residents of the city of Jorhat and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to say that the state will become crime free.
The opposition on the other hand accused the police of extrajudicial killings and some to express their concern.
Neeraj Das aka ‘Kola Lora’ (black boy) was arrested on Tuesday, a day after the gruesome incident, and was due in court on Wednesday.
Jorhat Police Superintendent Ankit Jain said that during questioning the main defendant Neeraj Das alias “Kola Lora” (black boy) revealed that a large batch of drugs was coming and that a Police team left with him around 2 a.m. Wednesday in an offer to intercept the shipment.
Das attempted to escape by jumping from the police vehicle in the isolated stretch of the Chinamora-Mariani road and while trying to escape he was accidentally struck by the speeding police vehicle. . “The driver of the vehicle then lost control of the vehicle which crashed into a wall and was damaged,” Jain told PTI.
Das was taken to hospital, where he was declared “brought dead”. Three police officers were injured in the incident.
A total of 13 people, including Das, were arrested Monday and Tuesday in connection with the lynching of the leader of the Assam Students Union (AASU), Animesh Bhuyan. Two other people, including a journalist, who accompanied Bhuyan, were injured in the incident on Monday.
As news of Das’ death spread, people took to the streets of the town of Jorhat, which is a major educational center in Upper Assam, and burst cheering crackers.
Sarma wrote on Twitter: “Assam will be free from crime and criminal no matter what” and retweeted a message from Special Law and Order DGP (GP Singh).
The Sarma-led government will complete its first year in May next year and the tweet is said to be a benchmark for taming the crime ahead of it.
Singh had tweeted at around 2:29 a.m. Wednesday, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction – Newton’s Third Law” apparently referring to Das’ death after being struck by a police vehicle.
Sarma later told reporters on the sidelines of a program in Gorukhuti in Darrang district: “To save Assam from crime and criminals, crime must be brought under control. The Assam Police are committed to eradicating crime from our society. Referring to Das’ death, he said: “Some people say it’s a good thing, but I’m not satisfied in my heart. We have reached a point where our young people are killing each other ”.
AASU General Secretary Sankarjyoti Baruah said: “For the first time, we are happy about the death of a person. Das had many cases against him and was a terror to Jorhat. God has rendered justice ”.
“Today, Animesh’s soul and her family have reached their peace,” he said and demanded the arrest of all those involved in the lynching and exemplary punishment against them.
Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia, apparently suspecting foul play in Das’ death, said: “Whenever there is a death of a person in custody, the NHRC calls for an investigation. We hope the investigation will be conducted impartially. On police claim that Das was being tricked into providing a lead on a drug shipment, Saikia said he complained to Jorhat police about drug cases in the area ten years ago but that no action had been taken. Das had around 90 cases, including those relating to drug-related offenses, pending against him, but no action was taken.
Questioning the police action, the congressional leader said, “Maybe the cat would have come out of the bag and therefore swift action. But of course we will have to wait for an investigation before reaching a conclusion ”. Assam Jatiya Parishad President Lurinjyoti Gogoi demanded safety and swift justice for the two lynching-injured being treated at Jorhat Medical College and Hospital.
He visited them during the day and inquired about their state of health.
The feeling of jubilation in part of the population over Das’ death has led many to ring the bell of caution.
Sushanta Talukdar, editor-in-chief of a Guwahati-based online news magazine, in a tweet apparently referring to the circumstances of Das’ death, said: from the state. “Another editor-in-chief, Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty, also questioned the manner in which Das was killed and took to the microblogging site to express her apprehensions.
Now that “What @assampolice has done is basically take on the role of justice,” she wrote “Let’s be very clear – police are responsible for public order ONLY and don’t do justice” and retweeted the special message from DGP.
Kaushik Deka, another senior scribe from Assam, tweeted: “No sympathy for a mafia boss, but is this the way to make up for the bad police and slow court process? Could become a Frankenstein in a bloodthirsty society. Anyone who requests a meeting is nothing less than a potential lyncher.
Reacting to Deka, the Special DGP replied: “Without letting go of our failures, we sometimes have to bear the brunt of the failures of other partner institutions in the criminal justice system.”
Bhuyan was beaten to death and two others were seriously injured by a group of people following a heated argument over an accident.
The incident took place the day an old man fell from a scooter in front of Bhuyan’s four-wheeler, but some people claimed the AASU chief hit the two-wheeler. He and his two friends got out of the vehicle to help the elderly person.
The old man’s son, Neeraj Das, and some of his friends, who were nearby, rushed to the scene and started beating Bhuyan and his two friends, accusing them of being behind the accident.
Bhuyan was the Education Secretary of the Brahmaputra Regional Committee of AASU’s Golaghat District Unit. One of his companions was local journalist Mridusmanta Baruah and the other was Pranay Dutta, both members of AASU. – PTI