A mob in central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district on Friday evening lynched the men as they suspected them to be child abductors. The men – Niloptal Das and Abhijeet Nath – were artistes based in Goa and were back home for the Bohag Bihu festival.
“We arrested five local youths on Saturday and 10 more during the night,” Additional Director General of Police (law and order) Mukesh Agrawal said. “The situation at the site is under control and efforts are on to nab the others.”
The police have also arrested one person for spreading misinformation on Facebook about child abductors in the area.
The state government appealed to the public to not fall for rumours or take the law into their hands. “It has come to our notice that since the past few days, some organisations and people have been spreading baseless speculations with the foul intention of disturbing law and order,” a statement read. “The CM has appealed to all sections of public not to fall for such misinformation and take law into their hands.”
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal urged people to inform the nearest police station if they came across such incidents.
In a video of the attack that was circulated on social media, Niloptal Das is heard pleading with the attackers. “Do not kill me…please do not beat me,” he says. “I am an Assamese. Believe me, I am speaking the truth. My father’s name is Gopal Chandra Das and mother’s name is Radhika Das…please let me go.” The mob did not heed his pleas and continued to beat him with bamboo sticks.
The two men were reportedly on their way to a waterfall at Kangthilangso in the district, when they stopped their vehicle at the village of Panjuri Kachari to ask for directions. Some of the villagers got suspicious and two of them reportedly told the others that these men were child abductors and asked them to attack their vehicle.