Abhi-Neel lynching case: ‘Hostile’ prime eyewitness skips hearing

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HT Correspondent

NAGAON, June 12: The prime eyewitness of the Panjuri Kachari Gaon lynching case- Numal Basumatary skipped the “cross examination” before the court of the Nagaon District and Sessions Court here on Wednesday.

Basumatary, who was the No 17 eyewitness of lynching of two Guwahati-based young men Abhijeet Nath and Nilotpal Das, did not come to give his version before the court as directed by the Gauhati High Court.

Basumatary’s lawyer informed that he had not received the summon of the court for which he could not attend the hearing of the case on Wednesday.

Basumatary has changed his version of the incident for which the Nagaon District and Session Judge has ordered his “cross examination” on June 7.

“His statement before the court of the chief judicial magistrate under section 164 of CrPC was separate from that of the statement that he made before the session court,” said a lawyer.

On the basis of a petition filed by public prosecutor, the district court has ordered “cross examination” of Basumatary” in connection with the case.

However, three of the accused, including Bhagram Khakhlary filed a criminal petition in the Gauhati High Court (No 941/2019) against the order of the district judge. However, High Court rejected the petition and upheld the order of Nagaoan district judge and order for his cross examination on June 12.

The Nagaon District and Sessions Judge has declared Basumatary as ‘hostile’ and ordered his “cross-examination” in connection with the case. The court has fixed June 29 as the next date of hearing of the case.

On June 8th, 2018, Nilotpal Das, a sound engineer based in Goa, and Abhijeet Nath, a businessman from Guwahati, had gone to a picnic spot Kangthilangso in Karbi Anglong. The duo was stopped by some villagers at Panjuri Kachari gaon under Dokmoka Police Station on their way back, pulled out of the car and beaten up to death with bamboo sticks and kicks. The SUV in which they were travelling in was also vandalized by the angry mob.

Meanwhile, the accused in the case have appealed for their bail before the Gauhati High Court. The High Court has asked for a detailed report of the case within June 21. The police in its charge sheet had named 48 persons as accused, including a minor.

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