'Framed' in murder, Assam family faces social boycott

The locals are not allowing the members of the family to use a government-run facility for drinking water, buy goods from village shops, use a road that leads to their garden.

Published: 02nd August 2019 08:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2019 08:06 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: An Assam family is facing a social boycott for its alleged involvement in the murder of a kin. 

The locals are not allowing the members of the family to use a government-run facility for drinking water, buy goods from village shops, use a road that leads to their garden, sell their homegrown areca nuts and betel and tea leaves. They are also preventing villagers from visiting the family or talk to its members by issuing a threat that the offenders would be penalized.

The incident was reported from Borengajuli Khuti, a Gorkha-majority village, in northern Assam’s Udalguri district.

Shyam Bahadur Bista, the head of the family, died on April 13. On the same day, based on an FIR filed by some villagers who alleged he was murdered by the family members, the police had arrested Bista’s four sons and wife. Subsequently, they were sent to judicial custody by a court. They spent 75 days in a jail before being released on bail granted by the Gauhati High Court.

Bista’s family claimed he died as he used to drink heavily. 

“Two-three locals are envious of our financial growth. So, they ganged up with others and framed us. We had sent our father to a rehab where he spent a few months. When he came out, he started drinking again and died one day. When some people informed us saying that our father was lying on the road near a liquor shop, we rushed him to a hospital but he died on the way. It was a natural death,” Bista’s eldest son Sanjib told this newspaper.

He said when they were in judicial custody, the locals “tortured” his wife and the wife of his brother. The two women and Sanjib’s married sister were also not allowed to perform the last rites of Bista.

“We have no connection whatsoever with the villagers now. We have a tractor but we cannot use it. We cannot sell our crops. People cannot visit our house nor can we visit theirs. A road leading to our garden has been blocked. We cannot hire daily wage labourers. The boycott has forced us to buy essential items from a market five km away,” Sanjib said.

He alleged that they had filed an FIR against nine people but the Dimakuchi police station refused to register a case.

When asked about it, Udalguri Superintendent of Police, Longnit Teron, said he had no idea about the FIR being filed. 

“We’ll definitely act if an FIR has been filed. We will go by the law. At the same time, we are trying to resolve the case in consultations with various civil society organisations,” he said.

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