DIG (Eastern Range) V Siva Prasad
DIG (Eastern Range) V Siva Prasad addressing media persons at Jorhat. Image credit - Northeast Now

Jorhat Police filed a chargesheet against the 32 people involved in the case of lynching of a senior doctor at Teok Tea Estate in the district on August 31.

A trunk full of weapons used in the killing was also produced as evidence.

Briefing the media at Jorhat on Monday, DIG (Eastern Range) V Siva Prasad said the chargesheet of 602 pages has been filed in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Jorhat in the fastest possible time of 22 days.

Keeping in view of the nature of the crime, about 60 witnesses including accounts of eyewitnesses, forensics, police and others have been collected and recorded apart from the DNA being tested.

In a case first in Assam, the DIG said as per the directive of the Supreme Court in December 2018, the witnesses would be given protection and their identities kept a secret if required.

This was to prevent them from facing harassment or threat due to which they often turned hostile and retracted on their statements.

Also read: Lockout at Teok Tea Estate to be lifted from Thursday

The DIG further detailed the sequence of events which led to the murder of Dr Deben Dutta, resident doctor of Teok Tea Estate under Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited by the 32 accused which included two permanent, 13 temporary workers and the rest seasonal workers.

The oldest among them was 45 years and the youngest was 20.

Also readLynching of doctor: Assam’s ex-ATTSA leader arrested

Jorhat superintendent of police (SP) Vaibhav Nimbalkar made details about the massive exercise to collect evidences in the form of 60 witnesses’ statements, forensic reports, doctor’s reports, videos and sequence of events by way of telephone recordings.

Nimbalkar said the accused have been booked under Sections 302, 341, 342, 427, 506, 143, 144, 147, 148, 149 of the IPC along with Section 4 of the Assam Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions ( Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act ,2011.

“Apart from these, section 109 of the IPC, which was abetment to murder, has also been added,” the DIG informed.

Earlier, the state government said the case would be tried in a fast track court.

After filing of the chargesheet, the High Court will designate one of the courts for the fast track trial.

The DIG said they have sent a request to the government to appoint a special public prosecutor for the trial.

The killing of the doctor had attracted international attention and condemnation with the Indian Medical Association supporting the strike by the Assam branch of the association.

A probe was conducted by Shyam Jagannathan, commissioner and secretary to the government of Assam, finance department following the hue and cry.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com

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