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Dokmoka lynching incident: HC directive to transfer case from Diphu to Nagaon

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GUWAHATI, Sept 4 - Two days after the Assam Police filed its chargesheet in connection with the Dokmoka lynching incident naming 48 persons as accused, the Gauhati High Court today directed that the case filed in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Karbi Anglong, Diphu be transferred immediately to the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Nagaon, who shall commit it for trial to the Court of District and Sessions Judge, Nagaon.

�We also direct that the District and Sessions Judge, Nagaon shall herself take up the trial and not assign it to any Additional District and Sessions Judge,� the court of Chief Justice Ajit Singh and Justice Manojit Bhuyan said.

The court also directed the District and Sessions Judge, Nagaon to fast-track the trial and conclude it as expeditiously as possible.

Advocate BK Mahajan, the counsel for Gopal Chandra Das, father of one of the victims Nilotpal Das and also a party in the case, had earlier cited the infamous Kathua minor rape and murder case which was recently transferred from Jammu and Kashmir to Punjab.

Nilotpal Das, a sound engineer and Abhijeet Nath were beaten to death by local people on June 8 at Panjuri village falling within the jurisdiction of Dokmoka police station in Karbi Anglong district, where they had gone to capture sounds of nature.

Both the youths were then mistaken as child lifters and bludgeoned to death after which the Gauhati High Court took suo motu cognizance of the incident by registering the petition as Public Interest Litigation and issued showcause notices to the State to inform what effective measures have been taken to arrest the wrongdoers.

The State government to ensure proper trial and justice to the family of victims has also appointed senior advocate Ziaul Kamar as special public prosecutor by an order dated August 21.

�...Considering the fact that certain quarters have been trying to create ethnic-communal tension over the issue and surcharged atmosphere following the incident, there has arisen a reasonable apprehension that witnesses will not be able to depose at the trial in a manner uncircumscribed by fear and undue influence, should the trial be held within Karbi Anglong,� the court said.

�Moreover, the parents of the victims have also prayed for holding the trial outside Karbi Anglong. There also exists the likelihood that not only the witnesses but also the prosecutors will be threatened. Under the circumstances, it may not be possible to conduct a free and fair trial within Karbi Anglong,� the court observed.

D Saikia, Senior Additional Advocate General, Assam assisted by R Dhar, Additional Senior Government Advocate and B Jhorar, counsel appeared for the respondents. Senior advocate TJ Mahanta represented the Gauhati High Court.

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Dokmoka lynching incident: HC directive to transfer case from Diphu to Nagaon

GUWAHATI, Sept 4 - Two days after the Assam Police filed its chargesheet in connection with the Dokmoka lynching incident naming 48 persons as accused, the Gauhati High Court today directed that the case filed in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Karbi Anglong, Diphu be transferred immediately to the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Nagaon, who shall commit it for trial to the Court of District and Sessions Judge, Nagaon.

�We also direct that the District and Sessions Judge, Nagaon shall herself take up the trial and not assign it to any Additional District and Sessions Judge,� the court of Chief Justice Ajit Singh and Justice Manojit Bhuyan said.

The court also directed the District and Sessions Judge, Nagaon to fast-track the trial and conclude it as expeditiously as possible.

Advocate BK Mahajan, the counsel for Gopal Chandra Das, father of one of the victims Nilotpal Das and also a party in the case, had earlier cited the infamous Kathua minor rape and murder case which was recently transferred from Jammu and Kashmir to Punjab.

Nilotpal Das, a sound engineer and Abhijeet Nath were beaten to death by local people on June 8 at Panjuri village falling within the jurisdiction of Dokmoka police station in Karbi Anglong district, where they had gone to capture sounds of nature.

Both the youths were then mistaken as child lifters and bludgeoned to death after which the Gauhati High Court took suo motu cognizance of the incident by registering the petition as Public Interest Litigation and issued showcause notices to the State to inform what effective measures have been taken to arrest the wrongdoers.

The State government to ensure proper trial and justice to the family of victims has also appointed senior advocate Ziaul Kamar as special public prosecutor by an order dated August 21.

�...Considering the fact that certain quarters have been trying to create ethnic-communal tension over the issue and surcharged atmosphere following the incident, there has arisen a reasonable apprehension that witnesses will not be able to depose at the trial in a manner uncircumscribed by fear and undue influence, should the trial be held within Karbi Anglong,� the court said.

�Moreover, the parents of the victims have also prayed for holding the trial outside Karbi Anglong. There also exists the likelihood that not only the witnesses but also the prosecutors will be threatened. Under the circumstances, it may not be possible to conduct a free and fair trial within Karbi Anglong,� the court observed.

D Saikia, Senior Additional Advocate General, Assam assisted by R Dhar, Additional Senior Government Advocate and B Jhorar, counsel appeared for the respondents. Senior advocate TJ Mahanta represented the Gauhati High Court.

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