GUWAHATI: The Meghalaya Police arrested 24 people in connection with the lynching of a man on Sunday night.
The incident took place in Syntung area of East Khasi Hills where violence between tribals and non-tribals erupted on February 28 at the end of a meeting on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
Macmillan Kharshandy was lynched by a group of locals following rumours spread through the social media about the presence of a group of child-lifters in the village, police said.
Nine people from the state capital Shillong, including the victim, had gone to the area for a picnic when they came under attack. Initially, it was suspected to be a case of witch-hunting.
While Kharshandy lost his life, the others escaped with injuries in the incident. The injured told the police that they had lost their way back home in the darkness of the night and were driving with no clue. They said they were intercepted by the mob at one place and attacked.
The police said the accused were picked up in the wee hours of Tuesday.
“They (accused persons) said as the nine people were found driving aimlessly, they assumed they were kidnappers. It appears that the accused were tipped off through the social media about the movement of a group of people in the area in a suspicious manner,” Superintendent of Police Claudia A Lyngwa said.
Some of the accused were in judicial custody after they were produced in a court. Others were in the custody of police.
The attack was a grim reminder of the 2018 lynching of two young musicians in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district. In that incident, a mob of dozens of people had attacked the victims, who hailed from affluent families of Guwahati, after suspecting them to be child-lifters. Over 40 people were arrested and the trial in the case is on.