Deben Dutta

A court in Jorhat on Monday convicted 25 of the 32 accused for the lynching of the Teok Tea estate doctor Deben Dutta.

The district and sessions court, Jorhat Judge Robin Phukan sentenced all the convicts under Sections 302/149, 342/149, 353/148,  353/149, of IPC.

Over and above these 12 out of the 25 have been sentenced under section 4 of AMSP and MSI Act, (Assam Medicare Service Persons and Medicare ‘Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property Act, 2011), two out of twenty five under section 148 IPC and 23 out of 25 under section 147 of the IPC.

The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on October 19.

Those who have been convicted are Sanjay Rajowar, Sanjib Rajowar, Suresh Rajowar, Ajoy Majhi, Upendra Bhumij, Ratul Rajowar, Bablu Rajowar,  Anil Majhi, Bijoy Rajowar, Bolin Rajowar, Dipak Rajowar, Milon Rajowar, Rinku Majhi, Mishilal Majhi, Sibcharan Mahali, Debeswar Rajowar, Kartik Bhumiz, Sanjoy Rajowar, Kalicharan Mahali,  Rameswar Bhumiz, Siba Mahali, Rahul Rajowar, Kalanag Majhi, Manoj Majhi, Rinku Bakti.

Police arrested 32 tea garden workers for the lynching of Dutta and filed a chargesheet against them to the chief judicial magistrate of Jorhat on September 24 last year.

A section of workers of Teok Tea estate attacked 73-year-old Dutta, following the death of a worker, Somra Majhi.

Dutta, a resident of Jogduar area in Jorhat district, succumbed to his injuries at the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital (JMCH) on August 31 last year.

Hari Majhi, 46, one of the 32 accused, died during the trial of the case. He died of an ailment in jail on September 23.

Six accused, who were arrested by police, were acquitted by the court on Monday. Those who were acquitted are– Debesawar Rajowar, Arjun Majhi, Gulu Deb Majhi, Pritam Majhi alias Chotu bhai and Sanju Majhi.

Aparajita Dutta, wife of late Dr Deben Dutta, who was in court, said that she was happy with the judgment.

“Till today in no other case in Assam have so many persons, a total of 25, been convicted for murder, ” she said.

The killing of the doctor triggered large-scale protests by doctors, with the Indian Medical Association calling a 24-hour withdrawal of medical services on September 3 last year.

IMA demanded a probe into the incident and trial of the case in fast-track court.

The state government formed a one-man inquiry panel on September 5 to conduct a probe into the case.

Smita Bhattacharyya

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