Mob lynching case: 13 including prime accused arrested

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Jorhat Bar Association asks lawyers not to defend accused
HT Correspondent
JORHAT, Nov 30: Thousands of people gathered in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office complex here on Tuesday in response to a call given by the All Assam Students Union to stage a protest against the lynching of Animesh Bhuyan, education secretary of Brahmaputra Regional unit of AASU, Golaghat district, by a mob near the truck stand, at Jorhat on Monday.
The town wore a deserted look on Tuesday as shops voluntarily downed shutters and few public vehicles plied on the roads.
The Jorhat district administration , especially the police, was slammed for lapses in security and in not being able to prevent the incident which occurred in the middle of the town in broad daylight.
A call was made for the case to be tried in a fast track court.
In Monday’s incident Animesh, who runs a printing press along with two others, Mridusmanta Baruah, cultural secretary of Brahmaputra Anchalik unit of AASU near Dergaon and a friend Pranoy Dutta, had come to pick up some equipment near the truck stand. It was then that Mohan Das, fell from his scooty and Mridusmanta alighted from their vehicle to help him up. Mohan Das allegedly accused Mridusmanta of being responsible for his fall and began hitting him with the keys of his scooty. When Animesh came to stop him, he created a ruckus and a mob gathered around the three, lynching one and injuring the other two.
By the time the police arrived and took them to Jorhat Medical College and Hospital, Animesh had passed away and he was declared brought dead by doctors. The other two who were treated for their injuries were released but had to be readmitted on Monday night with severe pain in back and head.
Out of the 13 persons arrested by police under case No 2620/21 and booked under Sections 147, 148,:149, :326, 307 and 302 IPC, seven have been remanded to five days police custody and five to judicial custody. Another thug, Neeraj Das alias Kola lora, son of Mohan Das and the main accused, will be produced in court on Wednesday.
Mohan Das on Tuesday admitted in court that the vehicle of the three had not hit him and that he had fallen on his own from the scooty.
Those remanded to police custody were Mohan Das, Sanju Das, Sironjit Das, Horu Lora Das, Bitupan Das, Montu Das and Deba Das. Those who were sent to judicial custody are Subhash Borah, Bikram Das, Ratul Dutta, Jitan Das and Avinash Borah.
Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has directed the police to arrest all the culprits and submit the charge sheet within 15 days.
Members of different organisations including Upper Assam Chambers of Commerce, college students, etc., participated in the protest on Tuesday which lasted 3 hours from 10.30 am till 1.30 pm.
A large portrait of Animesh Bhuyan, was placed at the site where people paid floral tributes to the deceased.
AASU advisor Dr Samujjal Bhattacharjya, AASU president Dipanka Nath and AASU general secretary Shankar Jyoti Bora, enroute to Jorhat visited the house of Animesh at Dergaon and offered condolences to the bereaved family.
Dr Bhattacharjya, while calling for the case to be tried in a fast track court at the protest meeting here on Tuesday said that all the accused should be rounded up after identification, police should make watertight case so that the culprits do not go free and exemplary punishment should be meted out to them.
Bhattacharjya lambasting the poor security arrangements in Jorhat said that the district administration should ensure that CCTV cameras which had been put up with public money should be made functional as it was due to this huge lapse, that such an incident could take place.
Dr Bhattacharjya said, “If a lynching of this nature could take place in what is known as Assad’s cultural capital, then it can be well gauged as to what can happen in the rest of Assam,” he said.
He further asked the police to round up all drug peddlers as they had received information that a few of the accused were drug peddlers.
Condemning the brutal murder of Animesh, Dr Bhattacharjya said that there was a massive security lapse and a total failure of what the state boasted about as smart policing.
AASU later submitted a memorandum to the government through the deputy commissioner here demanding that the case be tried in a fast track court, judicial enquiry into police lapse, an anti- lynching Act , and eviction of peddlers on either side of the road.
They also demanded the Constitution of a Special Investigation Team.
Last night deputy commissioner Ashok Kumar Barman, Education minister Dr Ranoj Pegu and Mariani MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi visited the house of Animesh and offered condolences to the family. Dr Pegu told them that he had spoken with the chief minister, and that a fast track court would be set up to try the case.
On Monday when DIG, Eastern Range Mridulananda Sharma visited the site of the incident, he was reportedly heckled and grilled regarding why the police could not prevent the incident.
A policeman later told newspersons that since there were two events, one in Majuli where the chief minister was visiting and the other here in Jorhat where Education minister Dr Ranoj Pegu was distributing cheques to micro finance loanees, there were few policemen to control law and order.
Meanwhile, the Jorhat Bar Association has asked all lawyers in Jorhat not to defend the accused and that the Bar would take action if anyone did so. It also appealed to the lawyers in Sivasagar and Golaghat districts not to take up the case.
On Tuesday evening several organisations and individuals took out a silent candlelight procession expressing solidarity with the bereaved family.

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