Even as the lynching case of Teok Tea Estate doctor Deben Dutta drags on in the court, his widow on his first death anniversary offered kheer to devotees at the local namghar, lit a lamp and prayed for justice.

On August 31, 2019, the 72-year-old doctor was lynched by a mob of tea garden workers at the hospital following which there was a furore and the doctors staged protests across the country.

Sitting alone in her home at Jagduar near Teok, Aparajita Dutta told this correspondent that she had not lost hope that the killers of her husband would be brought to book and she and they would receive justice.

“My husband was an innocent man and everyone knows that he was brutally murdered by a group of workers due to the death of a labourer of the tea estate. I still have hope that the guilty will be punished by the law of this land. I have faith that justice will be delivered,” she said.

Talking about that fateful day, she further said it was on the Shankardev Tithi when he was killed and on August 20 this year on the Shankardev Tithi, the family performed the annual shraddha.

“His death had attracted attention and condemnations from the medical fraternity across the state, country and the world. Today, several doctors also called and remembered him on his death anniversary,” Dutta further said.

Meanwhile, the court of the District and Sessions Judge (Jorhat) on Monday fixed September 8 to commence arguments in the lynching case.

The process of recording of statements of all the 32 accused and witnesses was completed on Monday.

Police arrested 32 tea garden workers within a week of the incident under various sections of the IPC and filed a 602-page chargesheet within 22 days after the incident.

Sixty witnesses were named in the chargesheet which included eyewitnesses’ accounts, forensic staff, police and others.

In October last year, the court framed the charges against the accused after which the trial of the case commenced.

Smita Bhattacharyya

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