Guwahati, Jun 14 (PTI) The Leader of the Opposition in Assam Assembly Debabrata Saikia today demanded a judicial inquiry into the lynching of two youths in Karbi Anglong district.
In a statement,senior Congress leader Saikia urged Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to "institute a judicial inquiry" to get to the root of the motive behind spreading fake news across social media fora such as WhatsApp and Facebook, which resulted in the lynching of the two youths.
He said it was essential for the government to ascertain whether they fell victims to a nation-wide conspiracy of creating an atmosphere of fear and doubt via social media.
Saikia referred to similar rumours about the presence of child-lifters being spread in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, while pointing out that already several people have been lynched as a result.
"The opposition leader said that there was ample scope to suspect that the well-coordinated spreading of fake news might be a ploy to divert people's attention from issues of actual importance.
In view of increasing doubts about a section of supporters of a particular political ideology being the masterminds behind such fear and hate-mongering, Saikia said the Chief Minister should take it upon himself to order a thorough probe to unearth the truth and consequently prevent more damage being caused in Assam by such poisonous propaganda.
The two friends, Nilotpal Das and Abhijeet Nath, had gone to the picnic spot of Kangthilangso waterfalls under Dokmoka police station in Karbi Anglong on Friday and while returning, their vehicle was stopped at Panjuri Kachari by a group of irate villagers, who pulled them out and killed by beating for hours on rumours of being child-lifters.
The brutal incident was recorded by locals on their mobile phones and circulated on social media.
Altogether 63 persons have been arrested from different parts of Assam for brutally killing the youths and spreading rumours and hate messages in social media.
This includes 28 persons for killing the duo, while the rest 35 for posting hate messages and rumours on social media.
The main accused Alfajoz Timung, who was out on bail in an old murder case and was arrested yesterday for the lynching, had asked the villagers over telephone to stop the duo's vehicle and spread rumours of them being child-lifters.
The villagers then attacked the vehicle, pulled the two youths out and bludgeoned them to death very brutally, while both were pleading, according to videos circulated through social media by a few of the irate and inebriated mob.