In a major breakthrough in Assam lynching case, police have arrested a 30-year-old man, alleged to be the key accused in the killing of two men on suspicion of being “child lifters” in the state’s Karbi Anglong district on Friday.
“He is the prime instigator of the incident. It is him who made that phone call to the villagers spreading the rumours of the presence of two child lifters,” the Hindustan Times quoted director general of police Kuladhar Saikia as saying.
The accused Alphajoz Timung was on the run for the last few days before being nabbed by the Assam police on Tuesday night.
“He was on the run on his motorbike within a geographical area of 20 square kilometers. We managed to track him down through the three cell phones he was carrying,” the English daily quoted a police official as saying.
On June 8, Goa-based sound engineer Nilotpal Das and Guwahati-based businessman Abhijeet Das were lynched to death by a mob of around 250 people in Panjari Kachari village on suspicion of being “child lifters”.
The victims were on their way to a famous waterfall in Kangthilangso when they were stopped and grilled by Timung before they were lynched. Timung was the one who allegedly called the villagers telling them that two child lifters in a black SUV will pass through the village and they should not be allowed to cross the area.
“Most of the people in the custody have said the attack was a result of the phone call made by Timung,” a police official said.
So far, police have arrested as many as 40 people in connection with the case. They were allegedly spreading rumours about child lifters and hate messages on social media.