Devastated by the tragedy, parents of the two youths lynched in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district last week, have demanded exemplary punishment to “criminals” who killed their sons.
With their world falling apart after the cruel episode, they urged the government to take immediate steps to ensure justice “so that no parent need to go through the pain and suffering that we are experiencing”.
Two friends – Nilotpal Das (29) and Abhijeet Nath (30) – were on Friday pulled out of their vehicle at Panjuri in Karbi Anglong district and beaten to death by a group of irate villagers, who suspected them to be child-lifters on the basis of fake information circulated on social media.
The incident was recorded by locals on their mobile phones and circulated on social media.
Nilotpal, a sound engineer based in Mumbai and his friend Abhijeet Nath, a businessman had gone to the picnic spot Kangthilangso in Karbi Anglong to capture the sounds of nature when they were lynched while returning home on June 8.
Nilotpal’s father Gopal Chandra Das, a retired government official, could not believe that his son would meet this fate in his own homeland.
“My son travelled to so many places but met this cruel fate in his own homeland,” Das told a group of mediapersons who visited him at his home here.
“The government talks about Karbi Anglong as a tourist destination that can be promoted as ‘Switzerland of the East’. Will tourists come if our own people are not safe in their own land?”, he asked.
“Abhijeet was my only child and we are devastated by the tragedy. We want the government to take immediate steps to ensure justice, so that no parent need to go through the pain and suffering that we are experiencing,” Sasiprava Nath, an inconsolable mother of the victim said with tears rolling down from her eyes.
“The boys loved nature, animals, music and travelling. They had never hurt a fly–what did they do to deserve such a cruel death”, said the sobbing mother while his father Ajit Kumar Nath looked on listlessly.
Nilotpal’s father, trying hard to hold his tears, talked about his son’s musical abilities, particularly about his penchant for playing the Assamese musical instrument ‘Gogona’ (harp) which he had played at international music festivals.
Das urged the government to take long term measures to deal with superstition, eradication of illiteracy, poverty and initiate widespread awareness campaigns throughout the state, so that such incidents can be averted in future.
“The people who killed the boys are criminals and they should be treated as such without any mercy”, the mother said.
Meanwhile, sixty-two persons have so far been arrested from different parts of Assam in the brutal killing of two men and spreading rumours and hate messages on social media that fuelled the sensational incident.
The crackdown on the misuse of social media was also launched by the police after initial investigations suggested that messages posted on social media about child-lifters entering the state from outside may have led to the lynching episode.
The police have also issued an advisory asking people to refrain from spreading rumours on social media.