"The mob damaged the station and took away the accused before beating them to death."
A large Indian mob has killed 2 men, who faced accusations of raping and murdering a 5-year-old girl. The group, containing a reported 1,000 people, dragged them from a police station and fatally beat them.
The incident took place on 19th February 2018, in a town called Tezu.
Reports have identified the men as 30-year-old Sanjay Sobor and 25-year-old Jagdish Lohar. The mob attacked them with “clubs, hammers and stones”, eventually killing them. Their bodies were then left in a market square.
Police initially arrested the two men on 18th February, accused of rape and murder. A man from a village named Namgo claimed they kidnapped, raped and murdered his 5-year-old daughter. She went missing on 12th February.
Her body was found 5 days later, dumped in a tea plantation ditch. Reports say she was badly mutilated, with her head severed from her body and also naked.
While the men were taken to Tezu police station, local media reported their arrests and their alleged crime. This then led to a large group gathering outside the station and demanded the two to be handed over to them.
Lohit police chief Issac Pertin told AFP: “The mob damaged the station and took away the accused before beating them to death with clubs, hammers and stones.”
In addition, over 15 police officers reportedly suffered injuries from the Indian mob. After the two were killed, the large group dispersed and arrests were made later in the evening.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu deemed the girl’s alleged rape and murder as “barbaric and inhuman”. However, he described the mob’s actions as “unfortunate”. He added:
“We are citizens of a great country who abide by the law enshrined in the Constitution. Our laid down rules and regulations do not allow us to take the law into our hands.”
Three senior police officers of the station have been suspended for failing to stop the large group. The Superintendent of the Lohit district has also been transferred.
While police continue their investigation into this attack, it will remind many of the Nagaland mob in 2015. A group, containing 7,000-8,000 people, gathered to attack a man accused of rape.
They stripped him of his clothes, beating him as they paraded him through the streets and ending when they hung him. Eventually, 42 people were charged with the lynching.
With this case, it remains to be seen if any individuals will get charged for the Tezu incident.