Two youths from Guwahati were beaten to death by an agitated mob at a remote village in Karbi Anglong on suspicion of being child lifters.
The incident took place on Friday night in the backdrop of a rumour on social media that a group of ‘sopadhara’ (meaning child abductor or lifter in Assamese) were on the prowl in Nagaland’s Dimapur town and some of its adjoining areas.
Karbi Anglong shares a border with Nagaland on the east.
The victims, identified as Nilotpal Das and Abhijeet Nath, had gone to the remote Kathilangso waterfalls in the district’s Dokmoka area, the police said.
They were returning to Guwahati late Friday in their SUV when they were stopped by a mob who suspected them to be child lifters.
The mob then pulled the victims out of their vehicle, tied them up and started beating them in spite of the boys repeatedly saying that they were Assamese and had come to Karbi Anglong only to witness the scenic beauty of the place, the police said.
But the mob refused to believe the victims and beat them to death. They destroyed the vehicle as well.
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has condoled the victims’ families and condemned the brutal incident and rushed the additional director general of assam police (law and order) Mukesh Agarwala to Dokmoka.
“It is condemnable that people are bring killed after being influenced by rumours and superstition,” the chief minister said.
Sonowal has also ordered a high level probe into the incident and the circumstances that led to the brutality.