Two men from Guwahati were lynched to death last night at Kanthilangso, a remote village that comes under the Dokmoka Police Station of KarbiAnglong district in Assam.

These two youths from Guwahati – Nilotpal Das, a sound engineer based in Goa and his friend Abhijit Nath went to visit Karbi Anglong to enjoy the serene and natural beauty of the place. Mistaken as child kidnappers by the villagers, their vehicle was attacked near the area of Panjurigaon and the mob started attacking them with bamboo sticks and kicks when they were returning from the village in the evening at around 7.30 pm. Both of them died in the vicious attack.

One of the attackers recorded the entire barbaric act on his phone and the video has gone viral on social media ever since then. With a bloodied body and torn clothes, constantly being showered with kicks and getting pushed and pulled around, Das could be seen pleading, asking the mob not to attack them with his hands folded.

‘I am an Assamese. My father’s name is Gopalchandra Das. My mother’s name is Radhika Das. We came here in the daytime itself. Please trust me.” But the crowd continued to attack them, directing Das to let his tied hair loose. Das’s dreadlocks allegedly made the mob target him, his appearance reinforcing the image image of what is colloquially known as ‘XopaDhora’ in Assam.

Investigations have already begun, based on the video, to identify and make arrests of those who were involved in murdering both the men.

“The process of further investigation and postmortem is still going on at Diphu and we have visited the site. We cannot reveal the details of our investigation right away. This is a case of mistaken identity but nobody should take the law in their own hands. But both of them should have also informed the nearest police station before visiting such a remote village. We received the news only by 8.42 pm. They should not have stayed there for so long especially being outsiders. It’s not safe. There is no loss in informing the police beforehand since areas like Kanthilangso are one of the remotest villages in KarbiAnglong. This is not the season for tourists to visit the place either and hence we could not keep a tab on the incident. The Officer-in-Charge reached the site as soon as we received the news and he called for an ambulance. But both of them passed away before the ambulance could reach.We have conducted a meeting with the village headman already and further investigations are going on.” -he Deputy Commissioner of Karbi Anglong said to the local media.

His statement has been criticised on the social media with people wondering why anyone has to take ‘permission’ to go to a village. And why is it not safe without police surveillance.

A friend of Nilotpal Das told The Citizen, “He was a nature lover and a musician. One of the nicest and well spoken persons we knew. I still can’t believe he had to leave us this way. He didn’t deserve this.”

On the other hand, in an emotional interview to the media, Nath’s father said, “I have only one question for society today. How do we kill someone in such a barbaric way without using our conscience at all? I haven’t found the answer yet either. The men who killed my son must have children of their own too. How would they feel if their children were killed like this right after stepping out of their house, without even committing any crime?”