The protestors, demanding speedy justice against lynching of two youths in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district on Friday night, were subjected to lathicharge by the police.
“Till the time they were peaceful, we had no objection and allowed them to express their feelings. But as it was already around three hours of protest in the form of road blockade, we requested them to leave in the evening and most of the agitators had left,” Deputy Commissioner (Central) of Guwahati Police Ranjan Bhuyan told PTI.
However, around hundred protesters refused to leave the spot and even started drinking alcohol on the road, he said, adding they threw stones and bottles on policemen.
“We had no option but to use mild lathicharge to disperse them,” Mr Bhuyan said.
Stones and other items were also thrown at media persons present there, but no immediate report of any injury has been received.
Guwahati Police Commissioner Hiren Chandra Nath said “some people” called him last night to tell him about their plans to hold the protest and a candle light procession, but that was an “informal intimation”.
“Policemen were present at the spot. We are not objecting to their protest as long as they are peaceful. This is a very sensitive matter and people are emotional,” he said.
Mr Nath said three persons have been picked up and their role was being probed.
The call for the protest was given by a Facebook group ‘Justice for Nilotpal and Abhijeet’. The group was started yesterday and nearly 60,000 people have joined it within 24 hours.
Two friends, Nilotpal Das and Abhijeet Nath, had gone to a picnic spot Kangthilangso in Karbi Anglong on Friday and while returning, their vehicle was stopped at Panjuri by a mob that pulled them out and beat them to death on the suspicion that they were child lifters.
One of the women protesters said, “We have come out not only for demanding justice for Nilotpal and Abhijeet alone, but for all who have been victims of any kind of superstition. And this case should not continue for one or two years. We want speedy justice”.
Another protester Wasim Ahmed said, “First, we demand that the trial be done in a fast track court. Secondly, we want that the deputy commissioner who made an irresponsible statement be sacked immediately. Thirdly, an Act should be brought in to deal with such cases”.
Karbi Anglong Deputy Commissioner Mridul Kumar Mahanta had reportedly said that the two should have informed the police before visiting the picturesque district, which is in central Assam.
A student of Gauhati University said, “If Assamese people are not safe in Assam, where will we go? This cannot go on. The culprits must get exemplary punishment”.
Protests have taken place against the killing at various places across the state.
Protests also took place in other places like Numaligarh and Diphu.