Three Indian officials suspended after rape suspect lynched
Mob stormed prison before stoning and beating man to death
Women hold placards during a protest in Calcutta this week demanding the death penalty for a man convicted of gang-raping a 23-year-old female student on a bus in New Delhi in December 2012. Photograph: Piyal Adhikary/EPA
Three Indian officials have been suspended and paramilitary soldiers deployed after a mob stormed a high-security jail, dragged away a man accused of rape and then lynched him.
Police in north-eastern Nagaland state have launched a search for several men who mobilised thousands of people who broke into the prison in Dimapur city on Thursday and seized the rape suspect, whom they also accused of being an illegal migrant from Bangladesh. They pelted him with stones and beat him to death.
The man had been arrested on February 24th on suspicion of raping a local woman.
Shops and businesses in Dimapur were closed today and paramilitary soldiers patrolled the city, which remained under curfew.
The killing of the rape suspect at the hands of a mob has caused concern across India, where there is increasing public anger over sexual violence against women.
The incident has sparked protests in the neighbouring state of Assam, where the man, identified as Farid Khan, was from.
Protesters set up roadblocks in Assam today and for a while stopped trucks carrying goods and other vehicles from heading to Nagaland.
“There was a roadblock near Lahorijan in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district, but the police have since cleared the blockade,” said Assam’s Inspector General of Police SN Singh.
Assam’s government has alerted police stations across the state to be vigilant against possible retaliation on Naga people living in Assam, Mr Singh said. Ethnic Nagas are a majority in Nagaland, and some have migrated to other parts of India.
Last night, Nagaland state authorities suspended the district magistrate of Dimapur, the city’s police superintendent and the jail warden, Nagaland’s top elected official, Chief Minister TR Zeliang, told reporters.
Federal Home Minister Rajnath Singh has called for a report on the storming of the jail.
Thursday’s killing is also believed to have been linked to tensions in Nagaland over an influx of migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. Several local groups accuse the migrants of taking away their land and jobs and have been protesting in recent weeks.