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Plea not to target Karbis

Vendetta against lynchings gains ground; Cong seeks probe into youth wing role

Singer Zubeen Garg, along with youths, participates in a silent protest in Guwahati on Monday, seeking justice for the lynching victims. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati: The Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organisations of Assam (CCOTOA) on Monday urged people not to target the Karbi community to avenge the Dokmoka incident in Karbi Anglong.

Two youths from Guwahati, Nilotpal Das and Abhijit Nath, were killed by a mob at Panjuri Kacharigaon under Dokmoka police station in central Assam's Karbi Anglong district around 8pm on Friday, suspecting them to be child lifters. The duo had gone there to visit a waterfall.

The CCOTOA leaders described the incident as "barbaric" and demanded "exemplary punishment" for the culprits. They said after the lynching, some people are targeting Karbis working or studying in different districts, particularly in Nagaon, Dibrugarh, Kamrup (metro) and Jorhat.

"The entire Karbi community should not be blamed or targeted because of the incident. It was barbaric and unfortunate. But targeting the entire Karbi community to avenge the killings will be equally unfortunate. This may lead to more social unrest. We appeal to everyone to show restraint," said Aditya Khakhlari, chief convenor of CCOTOA.

"On Sunday, some people threatened the Karbi employees of Jorhat Medical College and Hospital, forcing them to flee the district. There have been reports that many Karbi students and people working in different organisations received threats to vacate their rented houses. They were also not allowed to board buses," Khakhlari said.

The CCOTOA members said numerous messages on social media are spreading hatred against the Karbi and Bodo communities. "The way the youths are using social media is making us worried. It is time the state government took swift and strong steps to stop such messages. We appeal to people not to give communal colour to the incident," Pramod Boro, the coordinator of CCOTOA, said.

The organisation said two policemen were present when the incident took place. They demanded that the duo be punished for negligence of duty.

Indigenous Tribal Sahitya Sabhas, Assam, a forum of literary bodies of different indigenous communities of the state, have also condemned the incident and demanded punishment for the culprits. They also appealed the people to show restrain.

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