New Delhi (Sputnik) — Thousands of people gathered in Guwahati, the capital of India's northeastern state of Assam, for the second consecutive day on Monday to protest the lynching of two youths in the city. Reports suggest that at least seventeen people, including seven policemen, were injured on Sunday in the violence that erupted during the protest.
"The commotion started after some marchers started pelting stones. Seven of our personnel were injured in stone pelting and we had to resort to a lathi-charge to disperse the protesters," Ranjan Bhuyan, deputy commissioner of police (central), told the media.
The protests spilled onto social media, with people sharing messages requesting solidarity with the protesters in ensuring justice for Nilotpal Das and Abhijit Nath, who were lynched on suspicion of being child kidnappers.
The All Assamese Students’ Association (AASA), New Delhi held a prayer meet last evening in memory of Nilotpal Das and Abhijit Nath at the Faculty of Arts, Delhi University who were lynched by a mob in Assam. Protests all over Assam. HRISHITA… https://t.co/dvzJEAJM0C— seemamustafa (@seemamustafa) June 12, 2018
"With the latest arrest of three more persons early on Monday morning, the total number of arrests in the case now stands at 19. Some 16 people were earlier arrested. A massive manhunt is on to nab other accused in the case," G.V. Siva Prasad, superintendent of police, Karbi Anglong, told the media.
Meanwhile, the chief minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal, has issued a stern warning to people spreading fake rumors on social media. "People found circulating rumors would be dealt with very firmly," he told the media in Guwahati, after holding a high-level security meeting Sunday.
The video of the lynching incident, captured by one of the attackers, showed that Nilotpal Das shouted out his name, his father's name, his mother's name to identify himself as a local, but the mob kept beating the two mercilessly.
WARNING: The following video is graphic and may offend sensibilities
The disturbing footage has been posted on Twitter.
The rumors about child lifters from outside the state roaming in the city started last month, when a video purportedly showing a child being abducted by two men riding a motorcycle was widely circulated on social media and smartphone messaging applications. In Bangalore, two people were killed last month following the circulation of a similar video. Similar incidents have been reported from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.