Nagaland Lynching: Internet and SMS Suspended As Protests Escalate, 18 Arrested

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Members of All Assam Muslim Yuba Parishad (S) protest against the mob lynching of a rape-accused in Nagaland's Dimapur. (Press Trust of India)

New Delhi / Kohima: 

Curfew remained in place in Dimapur for the third straight day and internet and cellphone text message services were suspended across Nagaland as protests spread against the lynching of a rape-accused man.

The authorities put a freeze on Internet last night after videos on the lynching of Syed Sarif Uddin Khan surfaced on the net. The freeze will be in place till Tuesday, and the curfew, till Monday evening.  

Eighteen people, meanwhile, were arrested after the police went through the video clippings of the incident. But Khan's brother Jamal Khan alleged that most of his killers are still roaming free in Dimapur.
"We are in the process of identifying more people and we can expect several more arrests in the coming days," said Nagaland Inspector General (Range) Wabang Jamir.

The day saw widespread protests in the state and at Karimganj of neighbouring Assam. Karimganj is Khan's hometown, where his funeral was held in the noon today. It was attended by over 10,000 people, including Congress legislator Siddique Ahmed.

A 35-year-old second-hand car trader, Khan had been arrested on charge of raping a woman on February 24, and was sent to the Dimapur Central Jail on judicial remand.

On March 5, a mob broke into the jail, dragged him out, stripped and beat him up, tied him to a motorcycle and dragged him for 7 km towards the centre of Dimapur town. He died of his injuries along the way. The mob then hung his body at a roadside roundabout.

Mr Jamir, however, denied charges that prison officials had been complicit in the jailbreak by the mob. "There has been no evidence to suggest it, but we will keep this point in mind," he said.

Despite the curfew, people, however, were seen moving on the roads of Dimapur.

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