LoP Assam Demands Law Against Lynchings In State

Debabrata Saikia has written to the Governor of Assam to promulgate an Ordinance

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With the ongoing reports of alleged lynching incidents in the state, Leader of Opposition at the Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia has written to the Governor of Assam and appealed him to pass an ordinance to stop such crimes in the state.

In his letter, Saikia wrote, “You are no doubt aware that a youth named Devashish Gogoi was lynched by a mob in Gabhru Parbhat Tea Estate under Mariani LAC a couple of days ago. The deceased lad’s companion was grievously injured in the incident. “

He added, “I presume Your Excellency has marked that Assam has witnessed a perceptible spurt in mob violence over the last three-four years. In the last part of last month alone, one Sanatan Deka was beaten to death by five miscreants in Hajo and another person, Paragjyoti Neog, was similarly killed by 12 assailants in Chabua. Earlier, our entire state was shaken to the core when two young men, Nilotpal Das and Abhijeet Nath, were lynched by a mob in Karbi Anglong in 2018.”

In the letter, he also mentioned Dr Deben Dutta’s case where he was beaten to death in Teok Tea Estate.

“In the wake of the Karbi Anglong incident, the Government of Assam had assured the Assam Legislative Assembly that a Law would be framed at the earliest for effective preventive and remedial measures with regard to mob violence. Similar assurances followed from the Government after the murder of Dr Deben Dutta, but the reality is that the trials of those accused in the incidents in question are still dragging on in the usual leisurely fashion”, he added.

He added that in fact, the assurances given by the Government of Assam have proved futile and, consequently, incidents of mob violence are continuing to occur unabated.

The Supreme Court has described mob lynching as a “horrendous act of mobocracy” and issued some preventive and remedial guidelines to tackle this menace. These include appointment of Nodal Officers to gather intelligence, disperse mobs etc; fast-tracked trials which should preferably conclude within 6 months; protection of victims’ families and payment of compensation to them; and initiation of disciplinary action against police or civil administration officials who fail to act against the perpetrators.

He added, “I may mention that the states of West Bengal, Rajasthan and Manipur have already framed legislation against mob violence. In view of the above and the various versions regarding the mob lynching in Mariani, I would like to request you kindly to ensure that a judicial enquiry is instituted to ascertain the facts of this latest incident.”

He added, “Further, you may kindly ask the Government of Assam to immediately promulgate an Ordinance to curb mob violence, pending expeditious enactment of a Law for the same purpose. In this context, I am appending herewith for your perusal a copy of the Ordinance promulgated by the Government of Manipur, which may be of some use in view of that state being a neighbour of Assam.”