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Assam: 13 arrested for lynching student leader

The mob reportedly attacked Bhuyan, and two others travelling with him, after alleging that the trio’s vehicle had hit an elderly man riding a scooter.

Written by Tora Agarwala |
Updated: November 30, 2021 3:35:12 pm
Animesh Bhuyan

At least 13 people have been arrested for allegedly beating a student leader to death in Assam’s Jorhat town, police said.

On Monday, Animesh Bhuyan, a 28-year-old All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) leader, was lynched by a group of about 50 people following an argument over a road accident. The mob reportedly attacked Bhuyan, and two others travelling with him, after alleging that the trio’s vehicle had hit an elderly man riding a scooter.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Tuesday said that he has directed the Asam Police to file the chargesheet within one month. The chief minister also said that the criminals would be tried in a fast-track court.

Responding to the CM Sarma’s directions, Assam Special DGP GP Singh has said that “strong and firm action” would be taken against the accused.

“We have arrested 13 people including the prime accused Neeraj Das, who is known to be a habitual offender,” said Jorhat SP Ankur Jain, adding that the incident happened in broad daylight in a busy street, and yet “no one intervened.”

Jain said that there was no collision with Bhuyan’s vehicle and the elderly man had fallen from the scooter himself. “He was under the influence of alcohol and created a scene…Bhuyan and two others, who happened to be close by, had rushed to help him but the man started shouting and said that they had run him over. That is when a mob gathered and got violent,” the official said.

Present in the mob was Neeraj Das, the son of the scooterist. “He has been arrested several times before and is a known trouble maker,” said the SP, adding that Das was the main culprit who instigated the crowd.

The three were rushed to the hospital — however, the doctors declared the AASU leader dead on arrival. The other two sustained injuries and have been discharged now.

Bhuyan, who hails from Jorhat’s Dergaon, was the education secretary of an AASU sub-unit in Upper Assam. “This is a very unfortunate incident…especially because there was no road accident in the first place. On the contrary, the three boys had gone to help the scooterist, and yet, the mob beat one of them to death,” said Dipanka Nath, President, AASU.

The Assam government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the Bhuyan’s family.

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