ITANAGAR, Aug 7: The Special Investigation Team (SIT – Police HQ) arrested three people on 5 August from Meghalaya capital Shillong for their alleged connection in the lynching of two men in Tezu’s central traffic junction on 19 February this year.
The trio, who were reportedly absconding, has been identified as Behenso Pul (former GS, AMSU), Legem Takaliang (president, AMSU) and Chowkhiya Tayang (GS, AMSU).
Speaking to this daily, Lohit Superintendent of Police DW Thongon informed that the case was first handed over to the Tezu police station, but subsequently handed over to the SIT on 16 April.
The SIT then managed to arrest one Bachamso Chiba from Itanagar on 26 June.
However, he was granted bail by the court on Tuesday.
The SP said the other three had applied for anticipatory bail in late June but the plea was rejected by the court.
“Two more arrests are expected to take place, and non-bailable warrant has been issued against their names as well,” the SP informed.
Meanwhile, in a joint statement, the All Mishmi Students’ Union (AMSU), the All Lohit District Students’ Union (ALDSU), and the Anjaw District Students’ Union (AADSU) termed the arrests arbitrary and demanded immediate and unconditional release of the three accused.
They also threatened to launch a 12-hour bandh on 9 August in Anjaw and Lohit districts in its first phase of agitation to protest the arrest.
The Lower Dibang valley unit of the All Mishmi Women Welfare Society also raised concerns regarding the “spate of inhuman and gruesome incidents involving its denizen, especially children,” and requested Chief Minister Pema Khandu to reopen and expedite all the pending cases related to women and children in the district, and payment of ex gratia and victim compensation under relevant rules.
The SP further informed that a meeting was held with the student unions in the Lohit deputy commissioner’s chamber recently, during which the students were advised not to resort to a bandh call and instead opt for a peaceful rally if required.
“The demand is illogical. The police itself cannot grant bail once a non-bailable warrant is issued. If they want their release then they have to knock the door of the court,” he explained.
On 19 February, an angry mob lynched an 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 18 February 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.