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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

    Abhijeet Was Supposed To Marry In 2019: Parents Recount Horror Of How A Mob Killed Their Son


    A year back, Abhijeet Nath received an ultimatum from his parents to tie the knot with the girl he loves within the “first three-four months” of 2019. The dream of Ajit Kumar Nath and Sasiprabha of seeing their only child getting dressed as a dora (groom) remained unfulfilled. They have locked the new rooms constructed for Abhijeet to start his new life post marriage, just like their dreams.

    “Last year, I had given him a deadline to marry the girl he loves within the first four months of 2019. We were dreaming of organising his marriage but instead, we are observing his death anniversary today. Life can be so cruel…I never imagined that one day I would have to cremate my own child whom I brought into this world,” said Ajit.

    A Guwahati-based businessman Abhijeet had gone to a picnic spot Kangthilangso in Karbi Anglong on June 8th, 2018 along with his friend Nilotpal Das. The duo was stopped by some villagers at Panjuri under Dokmoka Police Station on their way back, pulled out of the car and beaten up to death with bamboo sticks and kicks over suspicion of being child lifters. The SUV in which they were travelling in was also vandalized by the angry mob.

    WAITING FOR MASTER: Spikey, Abhijeet’s pet dog, is seen sitting calmly in front of his photograph, sniffing and staring at every person present in the room. Photo: TIME8

    A lot has changed in the last 12 months in Nath’s household in Sachal Path, Sixmile. The house has fallen silent. A black and white photo of Abhijeet with a garland on his photo has now made way to the living room of his house.

    On June 8th, 2019, his parents organised a Bhagawat Path to mark Abhijeet’s first death anniversary. Spikey, Abhijeet’s pet dog, is seen sitting calmly in front of his photograph, sniffing and staring at every person present in the room. The Abhi-Neel Smriti Raksha Samiti also held a programme at the Silpukhuri Rajahuwa Naamghar on June 8th, 2019.

    “It was around 10 pm on June 8th, 2018 when my wife received a call from Abhijeet’s girlfriend, who was informed by a local villager in Panjuri, that our son has been lynched to death. I was in Morigaon when my wife called me. Upon hearing the news, I felt as if the ground was slipping beneath my feet. I was blank for a moment,” he says. In turn, a shaken Ajit frantically started dialling his son’s number but found it had been switched off.

    He adds, “I immediately called up a few of our relatives and reported the incident at a local police station in Morigaon. They asked me to take up the issue with Dokmoka police. Abhijeet didn’t inform us that he would be going to Karbi Anglong.”

    TOGETHER IN GRIEF: Parents, cousins and relatives of Abhijeet. Photo: TIME8

    As Ajit was recounting the “dark day”, Sashiprabha broke down in tears. Ajit asked her to go inside and allow him to speak.  “Abhijeet was attached to his mother. He was our only son. Our lives revolved around him. We were a happy family of three persons…everything came to an end so abruptly and brutally,” he shares. Ajit is a retired state government employee and Sasiprabha taught at the Madhya Kamrup College in Barpeta.

    Sashiprabha shares that Abhijeet was a foodie. “He loved to eat non-vegetarian food but he never allowed us to kill chicken, duck or fish at home. He left for Karbi Anglong in a pair of shorts and slippers. Had Abhijeet informed his mother, she would have never allowed him to go to Karbi Anglong,” Ajit shares.

    His father revealed that Abhijeet had a penchant of collecting ornamental fish. “He loved his dogs Spikey and Aizen more than his life. He was planning to bring home a few birds. He used to collect ornamental fish wherever he went. Abhijeet was trying to learn the techniques of taking care of such fish. He was obsessed with shoes. Whether he wore or not, he loved to buy shoes. He also loved cars,” he adds.

    TOGETHER IN GRIEF: Parents, cousins and relatives of Abhijeet. Photo: TIME8

    Assam Police arrested more than 40 persons in relation to the incident including the prime accused Alfajoz Timung. Assam Police said that Alfajoz allegedly had an argument with Nilotpal and Abjijeet, following which he spread the rumour that they were child lifters, to instigate the villagers. He asked the villagers to intercept the car and detain the two boys, police said.

    “It’s not that we are dissatisfied with the judicial proceedings. We expect speedy disposal of the case. The eyewitnesses are constantly changing their statements. It seems like they are being persuaded not to speak in our favour, not to speak the truth,” Ajit says, adding, “Even after the Abhi-Neel incident, numerous other cases of mob lynching have been reported in Assam. There is a need for a strong law against such mob violence.”

    It may be noted, the Nagaon District and Sessions Court has declared Numol Basumatary, one of the eyewitnesses in the lynching case, as ‘hostile’. He has been summoned to appear before the court on June 12th, 2019.

    “We are living to see the killers of my son getting punished. My son’s life came to an end before he could start it. God should not punish other parents like us,” Ajit says.


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    First published