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Bring the culprits to justice, says Amnesty

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 7 � The Amnesty International India today described the lynching of a suspected rapist by a mob on March 5 in Dimapur town of Nagaland as a serious lapse in the criminal justice system and demanded that every person who was part of the mob should be brought to justice urgently.

In a statement here, Amnesty International India Programmes Director Shemeer Babu said, �Failure to do so will send out the message that anyone can commit outrageous abuses and attempt to justify them as an expression of public anger.�

�Nagaland authorities must uphold the rule of law. Violence against women needs to be tackled with swift and effective responses from the State, not with barbarism by self-appointed vigilantes,� said Shemeer Babu.

He said that Syed Farid Khan had been arrested on the suspicion of raping a woman in Dimapur, remanded to judicial custody on February 25 and lodged in the Dimapur Central Jail.

On March 5, according to local police, a mob of thousands broke into the jail and dragged him out. He was then stripped naked, beaten, pelted with stones, and taken towards the centre of Dimapur town, that is � seven kilometres away. Farid Khan succumbed to his injuries on the way. The mob then dragged his body to a clock tower and displayed it.

This is a serious lapse in the criminal justice system, said Shemeer Babu, adding that the Nagaland government must ensure that everyone who was part of the irate mob is brought to book. Failure on this count will only send out the message that anyone can commit such crimes and then justify them as an expression of public anger, he reiterated.

Police officials told journalists that they did not at first use force against the crowd because they wanted to avoid casualties. The police eventually opened fire to disperse the crowd, leading to the death of one person. The State government has since suspended three senior police officials, including the chief of the Dimapur Central Jail, and ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident, said Babu.

It needs mention here that the Amnesty International India is part of the Amnesty International global human rights movement. It is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion, and is funded mainly by contributions from individual supporters.

Demo staged: The Sadou Asom Goria-Moria-Deshi Jatiya Parishad today staged a demonstration in front of the Nagaland House here and burnt the effigies of Nagaland Chief Minister, Union Home Minister and Union Minister of State for Home Affairs in protest against the March 5 Dimapur lynching of the rape accused who hailed from Badarpur, Assam.

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