Three senior officials of Dimapur, including the SP and the central jail chief, were suspended on Friday and a judicial inquiry was ordered into the lynching of a rape accused by a mob in this Nagaland town where the situation was stated to be tense but under control.
One person identified as Inito Swu, who was among the five injured in police firing on the mob, succumbed today, police said.
Neighbouring Assam was put on high alert by the Centre following the incident in Dimapur as the rape accused Syed Farid Khan is believed to be from that state.
Khan had allegedly raped a Naga woman several times before he was arrested on February 25.
Infuriated by the alleged rape, the mob had forced its way into the Central jail on Thursday, pulled Khan out of the prison, paraded him naked before lynching him.
Karai Chawang, Press Officer to Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeilang, told PTI on phone from Kohima that a meeting of the state cabinet decided to suspend Deputy Commissioner Wezope Kenye, SP Meren Jamir and B Chuba Phom, Senior Superintendent of Central Jail, for “their failure to control the situation.”
CMO sources said the Cabinet, presided by Zeilang, ordered setting up of a one-man commission headed by Veprasa Nyekha, retired District and Sessions Judge, to inquire into the lynching and other related incidents.
The Cabinet also resolved that the persons who had incited, instigated or encouraged the mob in the jail break, taking out of the accused from judicial custody and in torturing him to death be arrested and prosecuted.
Chawang identified the deceased rape suspect as Syed Farid Khan.
One person was injured in police firing on the mob and he later succumbed to his injuries, Meren Jamir, Superintendent of Police of Dimapur, said earlier, adding in all four to five people had sustained injuries in the action.
He said curfew remained in force in Dimapur where the situation was “under control.”
Jamir said police could not prevent the mob attack on the jail as the securitymen were vastly outnumbered and there were several school children in the mob.
Asked to comment on reports that the rape accused was a Bangladeshi immigrant, Jamir said “I cannot tell you anything on that now and it is a matter of investigation.”
The Cabinet decided to replace Kenye with Kesonyu Yhome as Deputy Commissioner of Dimapur, SP Jamir with ASP Shouka Kakheto.
Posse of riot police personnel patrolled the streets of Dimapur.
Zeliang said a high-level inquiry has been ordered into the mob attack to ascertain if there had been any lapse in security.
Chawang said the Cabinet also asked all Deputy Commissioners and SPs of Nagaland to urgently take steps to protect and look after the welfare of the minority communities and to prevent any untoward incidents, amid reports of attacks on establishments belonging to the minorities.
He also said that state cabinet expressed regret and condoled the death of Khan and Swu, and directed authorities to pay appropriate ex-gratia to their families.
The Centre meanwhile sought a report from Nagaland government on the lynching of the rape accused by a mob and put neighbouring Assam on high alert in the wake of the incident.
“We have sought a report from Nagaland government about the incident and how a mob entered a jail and pull out an inmate,” a Home Ministry official said in New Delhi.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that he has already discussed with senior officials about the incident and asked them to take necessary action.
The central government has also alerted neighbouring Assam and asked it to step up vigil so that no untoward incident takes place along its border with Nagaland, officials said.
Zeliang on Friday assured Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi that necessary action would be taken against those who had broken into Dimapur jail and lynched the rape accused.
In a telephonic conversation, the Nagaland Chief Minister Zeliang told Gogoi that a probe into the incident has already been initiated and anyone found guilty would be punished, according to an Assam government release.
Zeliang also said if there were lapses on part of the officials, then necessary steps would be taken against them too.