ITANAGAR, Feb 19: In an instance that exposed the utter failure of the Lohit district administration and police, an angry mob on Monday lynched the alleged rapist and murderer of a minor girl in Namgo Mising village, along with his accomplice.
The two accused, identified as Sanjay Sobor (30) and Jagdish Lohar (25), had been arrested from Tengapani tea garden area on Sunday for the alleged rape and murder of a five-year-old girl.
The lynching took place between 11 and 11.30 am when hundreds of people armed with hammers, iron rods and sticks surrounded the police station in Tezu and demanded that the duo be handed over to them.
Sources in Tezu informed that when the police refused to meet their demand, the angry mob attacked the police station, ransacked it, and broke the cell.
The crowd, which outnumbered the police personnel, dragged out both the alleged accused to the street. The mob then paraded them at the traffic junction, before lynching them.
It is also reported that the mob later attempted to burn the bodies of the two. However, government officials and police thwarted them and retrieved the bodies.
Unverified sources said that a case has been registered at the Tezu police station over the incident, without naming any individual in the mob.
The Lohit superintendent of police confirmed that a large mob attacked the police station and killed the duo, and said investigation is on to identify the members of the mob. He did not release further information.
Jolted by the horrifying incident, Lohit Deputy Commissioner Karma Lekhi convened an emergency meeting with government officials here this afternoon. The district administration has clamped 144 CrPC in Tezu town till normalcy is restored.
A similar mob lynching had taken place in Dimapur, Nagaland, in March 2015, after a man was arrested on suspicion of rape.
Meanwhile, Tezu Police Station In-charge, SI Bidan Gosh, Duty Officer, Lady SI Nich Rupa, and sentry on duty Ct T Changmi have been placed under suspension, and the Lohit SP has been transferred for their inefficiency in dealing with the matter.
Community boycotts Statehood Day
Meanwhile, expressing solidarity with the bereaved family, the Mishmi community of Anjaw, Lohit, Lower Dibang Valley and Dibang Valley districts has decided to boycott the Statehood Day celebration on Tuesday and organise a candlelight march for the deceased, instead.
The All Mishmi Students’ Union, the All Idu-Mishmi Students’ Union, the Cultural & Literary Society of Mishmis, the All Mishmi Women Welfare Society, and the Mishmi Civil Society of Anjaw, Lohit and Dibang Valley have also expressed deep anguish over the gruesome murder of the minor girl, and extended their support to the boycott and the candlelight vigil.
CM orders inquiry into lynching of accused
Following the lynching of the two Chief Minister Pema Khandu said “We are citizens of a great country who abide by the law enshrined in the constitution. Our laid-down rules and regulations do not allow us to take the law into our hands and so have placed the police and judiciary”.
Pema appealed to the people to maintain peace and not take the law into their hands.
The police and the judiciary should be respected “as these machineries are for the safety and security of the people, and for giving them justice”, Pema said.
The govt has ordered a police inquiry by Eastern Range DIGP Apur Bipin.
The order said that the report must be submitted within seven days. The CM also ordered a magisterial inquiry into the entire episode.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has expressed grief and utter shock over the recent rape and murder of the minor girl in Namgo Mising village in Wakro, and extended solidarity to the family of the minor.
Terming the incident barbaric and inhuman, Pema questioned the mentality of the culprits who could go to such an extent.
He described the heinous crime as one of the most gruesome, and said the culprits deserved the severest of punishment that the law of the land could pronounce.
Take serious note of rising crimes against children: APWWS
Strongly condemning the rape and murder of the five-year-old girl, the Arunachal Pradesh Women Welfare Society (APWWS) on Monday appealed to the state government to take serious note of the rising number of crimes being committed against children and take urgent steps to ensure protection of children against such crimes.
“Children are the most vulnerable and are often soft targets for such crimes, which is a matter of concern. We appeal to the state government to take serious note of the incident, and urge the education department to incorporate a chapter in the school curriculum about good and bad touch,” the APWWS said.
Extending condolences to the bereaved family, the APWWS also appealed to the people not to take the law into their hands.
AAPSU calls for strict ILP checks
The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has appealed to the chief secretary to issue directives to the deputy commissioners of all the districts to put stringent ILP checking measures in place, and requested the state government to compensate the victim’s family.
It also appealed to business houses, construction companies, transporters, etc, in the state, and to the indigenous people, to cooperate with the district administrations and thoroughly verify the credentials of the migrant labourers they engage.
“Tragedy of such magnitude should not happen to anyone,” the union stated in a release.
Extending condolences to the family, the AAPSU said that the union stands with the family of the victim during this hour of grief. (With inputs from CMO)