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Panel seeks auto driver’s arrest

- Push for CBI probe into Lakhimpur case

Dhemaji, Nov. 29: The Assam state women’s commission today demanded the Lakhimpur district administration to check the records of auto drivers to arrest the one ferrying the housewife who died of blunt trauma to the head in the Boginadi area of the district.

The commission’s visit came on a day that the BJP, AASU and several women’s organisations staged a demonstration at the Lakhimpur deputy commissioner’s office and circuit house.

The district administration and the superintendent of police, Prasanta Kumar Bhuyan, assured the protesters of the culprit’s arrest in 24 hours.

Ballika Lahon Pegu, a member of the women’s commission, interacted with the family members of the 38-year-old victim, her neighbours, the district superintendent of police and deputy commissioner during their daylong visit to her village.

She said it was important to check the records of the autorickshaws plying in the area to shed more light on those who were with her and help crack the case.

Another member, Rajashri Baruah, accompanied her.

“The family of the victim said she left her home around 1pm in an autorickshaw to fetch her daughter on Friday (November 21) but she was found unconscious with multiple injuries after half an hour. The victim’s family has not blamed anyone but wants the culprits to be arrested at the earliest,” Pegu said from Lakhimpur circuit house.

The victim was first rushed to Lakhimpur civil hospital and then to GNRC Hospitals where she died on Sunday. The incident came to light only when there was a protest on Monday, seeking justice for the victim.

SP Prasanta Kumar Bhuyan said, “From the investigation so far, rape can be ruled out. It was either murder or an accident. We will be able to arrive at a final conclusion only after our probe is completed.”

Another police officer said more arrests are likely to be made in this case as some of the suspects are absconding.

The police picked up two suspects on Monday and Raju Chetia, who was picked up Tuesday, has been arrested.

“There is a delay in arresting the actual culprit and to divert the issue, the administration has dubbed it murder,” said Santu Buragohain, the general secretary of the Lakhimpur district unit of the BJP.

The Opposition BJP also demanded a CBI inquiry to ascertain the actual cause of the victim’s death.

Abuluddin Ahmed, a lawyer who was one among the protesters in front of the deputy commissioner’s office, said the administration was trying to cover up the incident.

Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi and Assam director-general of police J.N. Choudhury have said the medical report had ruled out rape.

AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharjya this evening flayed the government for not being able to track the auto-rickshaw, which he said, only reflected the overall state of law and order in Assam.

Lakhimpur circle officer Dhruba Jyoti Hazarika said an inquiry was on and the case will be solved within a week.

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