Indian police on Wednesday claimed to have arrested the main suspect in the horrific lynching of two youths following rumours on social media in the north-eastern state of Assam.
“The main accused, Joz Timung, was arrested this morning in Belurghat area in Karbi Anglong district. He had asked villagers over the phone to stop a vehicle carrying the two youths and spread rumours of them being child lifters,” local police official S.P. Ganjala told newsmen.
With the arrest of the main accused, the number of arrests in the lynching case has risen to 26. Some 40 others have been arrested for spreading rumours on social media about child lifters.
A mob of hundreds had beaten to death the duo, Niloptal Das, a 29-year-old sound engineer, and 30-year-old Abhijeet Nath, while they were on an adventure travel in a village in Karbi Anglong district, suspecting them to be child-lifters.
The incident has shocked the country and triggered widespread protests in Assam.
State Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has issued a stern warning to people spreading fake rumours on social media which said: “People found circulating rumours would be dealt with very firmly”.