Students and civil rights activists protested in Guwahati on Sunday against the killing of two men two days ago by a mob, who they suspected to be child abductors.
On Friday evening, a mob in central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district had beaten the two young men from Guwahati to death. The men – Nilotpal Das and Abhijeet Nath – were artistes based in Goa and were back home for the Bohag Bihu festival.
On Sunday, protestors gathered in the city’s Chandmari area and shouted slogans demanding the resignation of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. By 4.30 pm, the intersection near Gauhati Commerce College was clogged with protestors and police blocked most arterial roads leading to the intersection.
Many protestors also raised concerns about the anti-tribal narrative that has been taking shape after the incident. “Any community in general cannot be blamed for a heinous crime like this,” Sagarika Das, a protestor, told Scroll.in. “If a similar incident had happened in another other place in Assam, it would have been equally wrong to blame the entire Assamese community for the same.”
Another protestor, Mithun Alkon, who works in a private firm in Guwahati, said: “The aim is to find a logical solution to the problem and not to support any division which is visibly being created by some groups in the garb of justice.”
The police later said that a group of protesters engaged in stone pelting and they had to resort to using mild force against the group. Seven police officials and four protesters were injured in the melee.
Earlier on Sunday, police said they had arrested 15 people in connection with the incident. The police have also arrested one person for spreading misinformation on Facebook about child abductors in the area.