DIMAPUR, Feb 6 � Uneasy calm prevailed here today following the lynching of a rape accused by an irate mob on Thursday and the death of a protester in a police firing late in the evening on the day.
The rape of a local college girl allegedly happened on February 24 and the accused, hailing from Badarpur in Assam, was held on February 25 and was since lodged in Central Jail in Dimapur following a court order.
Meanwhile, the Nagaland government has suspended Dimapur SP Meren Jamir and Deputy Commissioner for failing to control the situation.
At around 2 pm on Thursday, a mob, mostly students, barged into the Central Jail at Dimapur by breaking open its two gates and pulled out the rape accused Syed Farid Khan onto the street before stripping him naked under the very nose of a posses of armed police stationed outside the jail compound. The mob then paraded the accused person naked on the street and thrashed him to death. Khan died after being dragged by a motorbike with his waist tied with a rope, from Central Jail to Clock Tower Junction covering a distance of around 8 kms.
One of the protester died and scores others, including 22 policemen, sustained injuries, some of them seriously, when police fired at the stone-pelting mob in and around Clock Tower Junction on Thursday night.
As the mob stringed the body on to the fencing under the Clock Tower, the police resorted to blank firing to disperse the thousand-strong mob and retrieve the body. Eleven vehicles belonging to civilians and police were set ablaze at Clock Tower Junction and nearby Khermahal Junction in the violence.
The sound of automatic weapons fire and exploding tear gas shells punctuated the night from around 6.30 pm for nearly three hours as police personnel battled to disperse the mob from the area.
Earlier in the morning, a rally was taken out by the Naga Students� Federation to the Clock Tower Junction where students, NGOs and representatives of various organisations expressed their solidarity against the February 24 rape accused.
Meanwhile, the Government of Nagaland, through Home Commissioner Sentiyanger, has admitted a complete failure in tackling the law-and-order situation in Dimapur.
Talking to mediapersons at the Dimapur SP�s Office and in the presence ADGP G Akheto Sema and other officials, the Home Commissioner said the killing of the rape accused showed incompetence of Nagaland Police and district administration. Sentiyanger said, he, as the Home Commissioner of Nagaland, accepts full responsibility for the lack of governance that facilitated mob rule in Dimapur.
The State Cabinet has, meanwhile, decided to institute a high level inquiry committee on the incident, so as to find out the circumstances leading to the unfortunate happenings, lapses or shortcomings, if any, on the part of any public servants in connection with the incident, and identify the persons responsible for the violence leading to the death of the said accused at the hands of the mob, and to suggest measures to avoid recurrence of such incidents.
Informing this in a press release, the CMO media cell said that the decision was taken at an emergency Cabinet meeting on Thursday night in the office of the Chief Minister, which was chaired by Kiyanilie Peseyie, Minister for Social Security & Welfare and Parliamentary Affairs, as the Chief Minister was away in Delhi.
The Cabinet also appealed to all peace loving citizens of Nagaland to allow the due process of law to take its own course of action and not to indulge in violence or vandalism.
It may be mentioned here that our Badarpur Correspondent has named the rape accused as Sariful Khan.