Days after a 4,000-strong mob thrashed a 35-year-old alleged rapist to death after dragging him out of a high security jail in Dimapur Town of Nagaland, Police arrested 42 people who are allegedly involved in the lynching of the suspected rapist. The act of mob violence sparked protests in a region divided on religious and ethnic lines and reimposed curfew in the city.
According to sources, related government authorities also put a freeze for 48 hours on phone SMS/MMS services and internet following the videos of the attack went viral. Police sources said, “We were struggling to identify people directly involved in the murder of Syed Farid Khan, 35, who had been accused of raping a 19-year-old Naga tribal woman multiple times.”
“Twenty-two people have been arrested for rioting and attacking the prison complex,” state’s top police officer L.L. Doungel told Reuters.
Farid Khan’s brother linked the murder to ethnic tensions within Nagaland, whose indigenous groups have for decades accused a growing number of Muslim migrants from Bangladesh of illegally grabbing their fertile land. While, the family accused police of falsely implicating Khan in the rape to try to root out Muslims from Nagaland, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi had said that Khan was ‘a genuine Indian citizen’.
The alleged rapist Syed Farid Khan, hailing from Assam, owned a motorparts shop in Dimapur. He had been arrested on suspicion of raping a woman in Dimapur on February 24 and remanded to judicial custody in the Dimapur Central Jail the next day. On March 5, a mob lynched him and displayed his naked body from a clock tower in Dimapur.