The Assam police arrested the main accused in the lynching of two Guwahati youngsters mistaken to be child abductors. A police spokesperson reported Alphajoz Timung was arrested in a village near Panijuri Kachari.
The officer said, “We have arrested Alphajoz. He had been hiding there since the night of the murders.” The police have been searching for Alphajoz since locals confirmed he was the one who spread the rumor. Alphajoz allegedly spread a message on social media about child abductors.
The investigating officer explained, “On Friday evening, Alphajoz sent a message to some of the locals that the two youth had abducted a girl and asked them to intercept the vehicle they were traveling in.”
He further added, “The message from Alphajoz infuriated the mob and they not only intercepted the vehicle but also beat the two to death even after discovering that there was no one else in their SUV.”
The police have arrested 28 people who were involved in the lynching. Another 36 people were detained for spreading hate messages and circulating videos of the incident.
A video of the men being beaten also surfaced on the internet. One of the men is seen pleading the mob to not kill him but the men tied the victims and continued assaulting them. In the video, the man says, “Don’t kill me…please don’t beat me. I am an Assamese. Believe me, I am speaking the truth. My father’s name is Gopal Chandra Das and mother’s name is Radhika Das…please let me go.”
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal condemned the incident and ordered the Additional Director General of Assam Police Mukesh Agarwal to investigate.
The Assamese CM said, “It is condemnable that people are being killed after being influenced by rumors and superstition.” The two victims were identified as Nilotpal Das a sound engineer who worked in Goa and Mumbai and Abhijeet Nath was a business owner.