The lynching to death of two Guwahati-based young men, musician Nilotpal and his friend and businessman Abhijit, in Dokmoka in Karbi Anglong shocked the whole country. This lynching was the latest in a long line of similar incidents in Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Telangana triggered by rumours spread on social media about ‘child snatchers’.

In protest against the lynching and demanding justice for the victims, Karbi Students Association, KNCA, AASU, AIPWA and other organisations held a candlelight march in Diphu, marching from Diphu Club to Semsonsing Engti Park.

Similar demonstrations were held by citizen’s groups and people’s movements all over Assam.

Protesters pointed out the culpability of the police in the incident – the police did not rescue the two men even though the police station was a mere 4 kilometres from the lynching spot. Intellectuals and various organizations demanded a credible probe into the incident and into the forces that are spreading rumours about child-snatchers.

Protesters also pointed out that the ruling BJP in the Centre as well as Assam is promoting a culture of superstitions, intolerance, suspicion, xenophobia and lynch mob mentality which is endangering all citizens. They pointed out that if the BJP and RSS encourage lynching of minorities and Dalits and moral policing of women, such a fire cannot remain confined to one’s neighbours’ home – it will set the whole of society on fire.

The CPI(ML) also joined other organizations in warning against attempts by the BJP and RSS to use the incident to pit Assamese people against Karbi and Bodo communities, and divide the united movement in Assam against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (2016).