18 held in lynching case; Net blocked

18 held in lynching case; Net blocked

Syed Farid Khan, the man who was accused of rape and lynched by a frenzied mob in the Dimapur district of Nagaland, was buried on Sunday amid tight security in his village in of Karimganj, Assam.

His funeral comes amid the arrest of 18 people suspected to be involved in his killing on March 5, when he was dragged out of jail and beaten to death.

Meanwhile, the Nagaland government imposed a 48-hour Internet blackout in the state beginning Saturday night after videos pertaining to the lynching surfaced.

A government order published in local newspapers also instructed mobile service providers to block SMS/MMS services.

Protests against the mob killing rocked many parts of Assam and a 12-hour bandh paralysed normal life in three districts of the Barak valley.

The police said on Sunday that the arrests were made after mobile video clippings of the incident were scrutinised on Saturday evening and suspects are being interrogated.

Khan’s funeral saw a huge turnout with former minister and Karimganj (South) MLA Siddeque Ahmed attending, Karimganj Deputy Commissioner Sanjiv Gohain Boruah said.

His body was airlifted to Karimganj on Saturday evening after Nagaland authorities handed over his body to the Dimapur Muslim Council.

Khan, who owned a motorparts shop in Dimapur, had been arrested on suspicion of raping a woman in Dimapur on February 24 and was remanded to judicial custody in the Dimapur Central Jail the following day.

On March 5, a mob broke into the jail, dragged him out, stripped him naked, beat him up, pelted him with stones and dragged him towards the centre of Dimapur town, seven kilometres away.

The rape accused died from his injuries on the way after which the mob displayed his body from a clock tower.

Official sources said medical reports of the purported rape victim are awaited.

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