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Six arrested in sandbar attack case

Protest echoes in Cachar over violence
The accused after the arrest in Dibrugarh
The accused after the arrest in Dibrugarh
Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty   |   Dibrugarh   |   Published 23.10.19, 07:25 PM

Six persons, including three members of TMPK, the apex student organisation of Mising tribe, were arrested on Wednesday for the October 19 attack on a settlement of dairy farmers at Charkholia Chapori, a remote sandbar situated in the middle of the Brahmaputra.

The six have been identified as Takam Mising Porin Kebang (TMPK) Laimekuri unit president Jatindra Padun, secretary Jayanta Taye and executive member Dhonesh Kutum. Three others have been identified as Ranjan Kuli, Dhulanath Mili and Brikudhar Doley, all residents of Jonai and belonging to the Mising community.

A milkman, Murali Yadav, 55, was killed and many were injured when a group of over 100 people, suspected to be members of the TMPK, armed with spears, sticks and machetes, attacked the hamlet of Hindi-speaking people on the riverine island in Dibrugarh district of Upper Assam.

The inhabitants, all of them milk and vegetable vendors, have been living on the Chapori for decades. A few days ago, the TMPK’s Laimekuri unit, Dhemaji, had sought hefty donations, ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000, from them for the group’s 48th foundation day. When the inhabitants expressed their inability to pay such hefty sums, they were threatened. Four days before the attack, the inhabitants had approached the Dibrugarh deputy commissioner and superintendent of police for protection but no preventive steps were taken.

Following the huge outcry over the attack, Dibrugarh and Dhemaji police launched a joint search for the culprits.

On Wednesday, a police team led by Dibrugarh superintendent of police Gautam Borah and additional SP Dhruba Bora, with the assistance of their Dhemaji counterparts, apprehended six of the 10 identified accused from Gogamukh in Dhemaji.

Bora told reporters in Dibrugarh that the six have been booked under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 143 (unlawful assembly), 436 (mischief by fire), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous injuries by dangerous weapons), 307 (attempt to murder), 302 (murder) and 153-A (provoking disharmony and enmity) of the IPC. “We are searching for the other accused,” he added.

Bora, replying to a query on a permanent police outpost in the area, said he could not say anything right now. On regular chanda (subscription) collection by the TMPK in the area, he declined comment.

Dibrugarh deputy commissioner Pallav Gopal Jha had, through an order on Tuesday, prohibited chanda collection, forceful subscriptions, donations, roadside collections and extortion in the district.

Cachar protest: Rashtrabhasa Evang Chai Jangosthi Unnayan Mancha, an umbrella group of 12 organisations, protested in Silchar, the district headquarters of Cachar in lower Assam, on Wednesday.

They held placards, chanted slogans and submitted a memorandum to chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal through additional deputy commissioner A.R. Mazumdar, demanding arrest of and punishment to the culprits, compensation of Rs 10 lakh and a government job for the family of the deceased, Rs 5 lakh and free treatment for the injured, reconstruction of the houses burnt by the miscreants, action against government personnel who failed to take preventive measures security for the milkmen and all Hindi-speaking people and tea workers, chief convener of the Mancha’s Silchar unit, Dilip Kumar, told The Telegraph.

Additional reporting by Manoj Kumar Ojha in Doomdooma 

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