HC seeks lynching case details

Tributes being paid to the Karbi Anglong lynching victims in Guwahati on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati: Gauhati High Court has taken up a suo motu public interest litigation (PIL) on the lynching of two youths in Karbi Anglong on Friday night on the suspicion of being child kidnappers.

A division bench of Chief Justice Ajit Singh and Justice Achintya Malla Bujor Barua on Wednesday issued showcause notices to the respondents to inform the court what effective measures have been taken to arrest the culprits and inform what action has been taken against erring officials.

The state government, represented by the chief secretary, principal secretary of the home and political department, director-general of police, deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of Karbi Anglong and the officer-in-charge of Dokmoka police station have been made respondents in the case.

The respondents have been asked to furnish their replies within two weeks.

"This barbaric incident has been condemned not only in Assam but also throughout the country as well as in foreign news media and rightly so. The state of Assam is under a constitutional obligation to protect the lives of its residents. Sadly, in this case, it has failed to do so," the bench said in its order. "We are, therefore, constrained to take suo motu cognisance of the incident by registering the PIL," it added.

The high court fixed June 19 as the next date of hearing for this case.

Advocate Seema Bhuyan on Wednesday filed another PIL seeking a stringent law against mob lynching.

The division bench admitted her PIL and issued notices to the Centre and the Assam government seeking their response.

The court said this PIL would also come up for hearing on June 19.

In another development, the Gauhati High Court Bar Association on Wednesday sought a fast-track court for trial of the lynching case.

President of the association K.K. Mahanta told reporters the police should investigate the case properly and expeditiously and submit the chargesheet on time.

He said if required, the state government should appoint a special public prosecutor for the case. Mahanta said the incident had brought a bad name to the state and expressed concern over the rise in cases of mob lynching.

Woman rescued

Prompt response by the police helped to save a mentally ill woman, who was being beaten up residents on Tuesday night at Jelem village under Jonai subdivision in Dhemaji district, on the suspicion of being a child kidnapper.

Police said the woman was admitted in Jonai civil hospital with minor injuries. The police are still trying to find out her name and where she lives. Four persons were arrested in connection with the incident and a case registered at Jonai police station under Sections 143, 147, 325 and 307 of the IPC.

Anil Pegu, a businessman of Jonai town, said the woman was roaming in the market for the past few days but no one came forward and identified her.

Additional reporting by Vinod Kumar Singh in Dhemaji


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