Abhi-Neel's Families See Hope After Swift Dr Deben Dutta Lynching Verdict | Assam News

Wednesday, 02 December 2020


Assam: Abhi-Neel's Families See Hope After Swift Dr Deben Dutta Lynching Verdict

Nibir Deka | October 25, 2020 01:10 hrs

The brutal mob lynching incident at Karbi Anglong, where two youths from Guwahati - Abhijeet Nath and Nilotpal Das - became victims of fake social media reports on 8th June 2018, still awaits justice. There have been several court hearings in connection with the matter; all the accused who were involved in the case were taken into judicial custody but the slow judicial proceedings are making it painful for the victims’ families and loved ones. 

However, the recent verdict of District & Sessions Judge, Robin Phukan, sentencing accused Sanjay Rajwar to death and 24 others to life imprisonment for murdering Dr. Deben Dutta, a resident doctor of Teok Tea Estate hospital in Jorhat district in August 2019, has given renewed hopes to the family of Abhijeet Nath and Nilotpal Das. 

Both cases have certain similarities at least in the nature of the crime involving a mob if not legally the same. A mob consisting of tea garden workers had lynched Dr. Dutta on August 31, 2019, holding him responsible for the death of a patient in Teok TE. 

Abhijeet Nath and Nilotpal Das had gone for a short vacation to Karbi Anglong’s Dokmoka. 

Suspecting them to be child abductors, the locals, forming a mob, brutally thrashed the two youths who eventually succumbed to their injuries. It is nearing two years now and the mob lynching case of Abhijeet Nath (Abhi) and Nilotpal Das (Neel) is yet to see a judgment and justice.

The families of the deceased had become de-motivated due to slow process of the hearings. At first the delay was caused by the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests and later the court was rescheduled again after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Dr Deben Dutta’s verdict has given them something to believe in again. "We are happy about the Deben Dutta case because if they can get a verdict swiftly why not us?" said Ajit Kumar Nath, father of Abhijeet. 

As of now, the court has scheduled hearing starting November 6, 2020. This has given the families hope about getting justice although they have their share of frustrations. 

“My mental state is such that I had only one kid. I now don’t feel like staying indoors but I am hopeful,” added Nath.

As per people close to the matter, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the process as physical courts were closed. As such, witness identification was not possible in such a scenario unlike the Dr Deben Dutta case, where the process of identifying the witness was over before the pandemic.

The outcome of the case has been a cause of concern for the Nath family giving them anxiety. 

“Mentally we have become frustrated and really worried but there is no way out. We are having anxiety about the outcome,” said Gopal Chandra Das, father of Nilotpal Das. 

Even though they have to bear the intricacies of a judicial process, Nilotpal’s father is firm in his resolve for one thing. They will not settle for anything less than a death penalty for the prime accused. “The main accused should get death penalty,” said Gopal Nath. 

As per the families, another cause of the delay has been the witnesses which have turned hostile and changed their stance. “I get frustrated at times when the witnesses turn hostile or change their stand,” said Abhijeet’s father. Nilotpal’s father also shared his emotions over the process. 

“Every day I and my family can’t eat as we cry over dinner. How will I console my family? The only thing I can do is to wait and see,” said Nath. 

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