Guwahati, June 11: The horrific death of two men in Assam's Karbi Anglong district after a mob brutally beat them on suspicion of being child lifters on Friday evening has shocked the entire nation.
The lynching of Abhijeet Nath (28) and Nilotpal Das (29), both of whom were from Guwahati, has not only brought to the fore the rise in the number of cases of mob vigilantism across the country but has also put the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state in the dock for allegedly spreading "superstitious beliefs" among the masses.
A group that works to promote rationalism among the masses to curtail spread of superstitious beliefs on Sunday alleged that "the present BJP-led government in Assam was promoting superstitious beliefs."
The group without mincing any words told The Telegraph that it feels the rise in superstitious beliefs among the people of the state under the BJP regime could have resulted in the lynching of two youths. The BJP government in the state came to power in 2016. The BJP has its government at the Centre too.
"The superstitious beliefs are being spread under the patronage of the state government. There have been numerous instances of ministers to top bureaucrats spreading such beliefs. The state government has been promoting vaastu shastra, astrology and unscientific activities like worshiping rivers through Namami festivals," Chandramohan Sarma, president of Ellora Vigyan Mancha, told The Telegraph.
He added that Das and Nath might have been victims of superstitious beliefs.
The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), an outfit that works with the farmers, also blamed the state BJP government for the horrific lynching incident. The KMSS in a statement said that leaders and members of a "communal political" party have been spreading rumours in a bid to destabilise the state before publication of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
On Sunday, residents of Guwahati and other parts of Assam protested against the lynching incident and demanded justice for the victims. In a protest in Guwahati on Sunday, the protesters went violent and damaged public property too.
Das, a sound engineer, and Nath, a businessman, had gone to Karbi Anglong to visit some scenic spots. In a video of the incident circulated on social media, the two men can be heard begging for their lives and trying to explain to the livid crowd that they were innocent but to no avail.
Meanwhile, 16 people have been arrested so far in the case. The police asked residents of the state not to believe in any social media rumour regarding xhopa dhora (child kidnappers). The police added that some mischief mongers are spreading rumours about child lifters on various social media platforms.