Jhankar Saikia mob lynching case: Court convicts 12, acquits 4 others

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Justice after seven years

HT Bureau

GOLAGHAT/ DIPHU, Feb 24: Seven years after Jhankar Saikia, a college student, was lynched in front of his father in Karbi Anglong, a local court on Monday convicted 12 of the 16 accused in the gruesome incident. Four other accused including two policemen were acquitted in the case.

The quantum of punishment will be declared on Friday. The court of Karbi Anglong district and sessions judge AU Ahmed pronounced it’s judgment on the mob lynching case handing down guilty verdict for the twelve accused.

“I find the accused persons Robinson Teron, Biswajit Hanse, Sarsing Teron, Sanjoy Rongphar, Bikram Tisso, Junsing Teron, Binong Terang, Sarlongri Terang, Philipson Taro, Hitesh Rava, Enus Timung and Mangal Sing Rangphar guilty under sections 147/149/341/323/302 of Indian Penal Code and accordingly, they are convicted,” the court said in its verdict.

“All the convicted accused persons were remanded to the judicial custody till next date. On the point of sentence, the convicted persons are heard and to that effect their statements are recorded. Fixing 28th February, 2020 for hearing on sentence,” the court said in the verdict.

“In the result, I find that the prosecution has failed to prove its case against the accused persons Ramesh Chandra Nath, Harun Bora, Sarthey Bey and Dilip Teron beyond all reasonable doubts. It is the established principle that the accused persons entitle to get benefit of doubts. Hence on benefit of doubts the aforesaid accused persons are hereby acquitted from the charges brought against them and let them set at liberty forthwith” the court said “while acquitting the other four accused,” the court added.

After a gap of five years, the trial of the case was started in March 2018 which had a total of 16 accused out of which two are police personnel. The judicial department of Assam government appointed advocate Durga Prasad Jaiswal as a special public prosecutor in the trial.

Jhankar, a BA first year student of Diphu Govt College, and his father Haren Chandra Saikia, a lawyer, at Diphu was allegedly beaten up at Diphu town by a group of autorickshaw drivers on June 25 in 2013 after they reportedly refused to pay Rs 30 instead of the “legitimate” fare of Rs 20. As the auto drivers were thrashing both father and son, a few bystanders called police but the cops allegedly pushed the youth towards the mob.

Among the cops there were assistant sub inspector (ASI) Ramesh Chandra Nath and havildar Harun Bora, who were acquitted by the court on Monday.

Jhankar, was critically injured in the scuffle, was shifted to a private hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on July 1. The Diphu police station has registered a case No 95/13 under sections 294, 325, 307, 109, 147, 148, 149, 337, 338, 302 and 34 of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

“The justice has been served though it took seven long years and I feel that Jhankar’s soul will get salvation. Even if we cannot get back our son but we hope that today’s judgment will be considered as a precedent that no such tragedy will occur again” said Haren Chandra Saikia, father of Jhankar while talking to The Hills Times.

Regarding the acquittal he said that he still have not gone through the detailed judgement and once it is made public then only he can comment on it.

“Being appointed as a special public prosecutor in this case was a matter of great responsibility. I have done my level best so that the victim’s family get the justice,” public prosecutor Durga Prasad Jaiswal told media persons after the verdict.

The defence was submitted by lawyers Manas Sarania, Arkoi Ingti Kathar and Sarlongki Engti.

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