GUWAHATI: The victims of Friday's incident of lynching in Assam's Karbi Anglong had an altercation with the prime accused prior to the incident.
This came to light on Wednesday following the arrest of Alphajos Timung aka Alpha, the prime accused, by the police.
Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia said the lynching followed an altercation Timung had with the victims, Nilotpal Das and Abhijit Nath, near a waterfall a few kilometres away from Panjuri Kacharigaon, a tribal village where the lynching took place.
"There was an altercation between the victims and the accused (Timung). After that, the victims left the place, but the accused informed the locals on phone, saying that two child traffickers were fleeing with a child in a black car. So, when the SUV of the victims reached a tri-junction at Panjuri village, the mob intercepted it, leading to the incident," Saikia told reporters in Guwahati.
He, however, did not say what triggered the altercation. Nilotpal (29), a sound engineer, and Abhijit (30), a businessman, had gone to the place on a day's vacation to capture the sounds of nature. Both were nature lovers. Their families demanded that the trial of the accused be held in a fast-track court. They appealed to people to maintain communal harmony.
Timung, who was on the run, was arrested from Bheloghat Beygaon in Karbi Anglong. With this, the number of people arrested so far in connection with the incident has gone up to 28. Thirty-six others were arrested for spreading hate and offensive messages through social media.
"He (Timung) was on the run ever since the incident and kept changing his location. We managed to trap him. A few more people will be arrested," Karbi Anglong Superintendent of Police GV Siva Prasad told The New Indian Express.
Timung is said to have a criminal past. In 2012, two youth were lynched by a mob in the district following rumours spread by him that they were members of an insurgent group. Two years later, a woman was killed by a mob on suspicion that she practised witchcraft. Timung allegedly had a role in that incident too.