A group of villagers from Paneri gathered in front of the Paneri Police Station under Udalguri district on Tuesday to prevent a husband-wife duo, who was jailed on charges of being involved in a food poisoning case in August, from entering their village.
After five months in jail, the couple was bailed out on Tuesday.
It may be mentioned that in the Paneri food poisoning case, over 50 people including women and children were admitted to the Paneri Subsidiary Health Centre in Udalguri district on August 18 last.
In the food poisoning incident, Jinti Kalita (8), a Class-III student of Pub Paneri HS School, who was undergoing treatment, died on August 21 at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) after the the girl along with hundreds of women and children took part in a ‘naam prasanga’ organised by one Nakul Patowari of Paneri at the Pub-Paneri Bishnu Mandir on August 17.
After consumption of pea chicks and ‘laddus’, made from home-made rice powder (pithaguri), many of the women and children started feeling dizziness.
Several children and women developed serious complications and were immediately rushed to various hospitals located at Tangla, Udalguri, Mangaldai and Guwahati on August 18 in critical conditions. After the death of Jinti Kalita, the infuriated locals assembled near the house of Nakul Patowari, who had organised the religious function at Pub-Paneri Bishnu Mandir following which Paneri police arrested the husband-wife duo on the basis of an FIR filed by one Jayanta Kalita vide Paneri PS case no. 65/18 under sections 272/273/328/304/34 IPC.
The couple after being in judicial custody for five months were released on bail on Tuesday and had planned to come to their village.
On being informed about their release, the agitated people gheraoed Paneri PS on Tuesday. However, timely intervention by police and paramilitary forces, couple remained from public outrage.
“We will never let the family live in our village until the court grants them acquittal,” said Girin Kalita, a villager. While two other village women Bhabani Patowary and Rukmini Saikia also echoed the same views stating that the couple had hatched a plan to kill the villagers by mixing poison in the prasad items which were prepared by the couple themselves.”