The recent incidents of lynching in different parts of the country have redirected attention to a nine-month-old case in Arunachal Pradesh, in which an 18-year-old boy allegedly fell victim to mob assault.
Demanding a CBI probe into the case, various students’ organizations in Itanagar have served a 15-day ultimatum to the government to ensure justice for the teenager.
Toko Yame, a Class XII student of a government-run school in Tawang, went missing under mysterious circumstances following a scuffle between two groups of boys on September 16.
His semi-decomposed body was found a week later on September 23 near Biga waterfall in the district.
Over 20 people were detained for interrogation and later arrested in connection with the case. They were, however, granted bail by the court.
A Special Investigating Team (SIT), formed to probe the case, is yet to file a charge sheet in the investigation.
Sources close to the SIT team said 35 persons have been named as accused in the charge sheet and among them, some are adults, some juveniles.
Chakang Yangda, the president of All East Kameng District Students’ Union (AEKDSU), said if the government failed to address their demand within 15 days, the AEKDSU would impose economic blockade on Tawang district.
“We want the government to hand over Toko’s case from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), arrest the culprits at the earliest and terminate the police personnel who were deployed on control room duty during the incident,” he said.
A peace march, organised here on Monday by AEKDSU to seek justice for Yame, was attended by several organizations, including All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union, North East Students’ Organisation and All Nyishi Students’ Union.
Yangda vowed that the union would continue its stir till justice is delivered in the case.
AEKDSU general secretary Nera Gumro, who is also chairman of Toko Yame Justice Movement, said there seemed to be no headway in the case.
“We have been crying for justice for the past nine months, but it yielded no results. Several officers investigating the matter have been transferred,” he claimed.
Condemning the September 16 incident, AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai said they would intensify their protests if the case was not solved over the next two weeks.
He held Chief Minister Pema Khandu, who also hails from Tamang, and Home Minister Kumar Waii responsible for failing to deliver justice to the aggrieved family.
At a press meet here on May 15, Toko’s father Koya Yame said that his son was abducted and tortured to death. He alleged that the district police have been trying to protect the accused.
“It seems that there is no law in Arunachal Pradesh. Nine months have passed since my son’s death, but justice has not been delivered,” he added.
APCC president Takam Sanjoy said the government was trying to “shield the culprits” involved in the murder.
“The Tawang district administration and police have succumbed to the dictum of Chief Minister Pema Khandu,” APCC president Takam Sanjoy said.
A senior police officer, however, denied allegations of “political interference” in the matter.
The investigation team is doing its best to solve the case, the officer said on the condition of anonymity.
Chief Secretary Satyagopal, too, rubbished the charge leveled by the opposition party.
“There was no question of shielding any criminal, whatever be the case. The law will take its own course,” he added.