After Mob Kills Suspected Rapist: Arrests, a Blackout

Curfew set down in Dimapur, Internet blocked to 'contain tension'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2015 7:30 AM CDT
Activists shout slogans during a torch protest against the lynching of a man accused of rape in Gauhati, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, Saturday, March 7, 2015.   (AP Photo/ Anupam Nath)

(Newser) – At least 22 people have been arrested in India following last week's mob lynching of a suspected rapist, the New York Times reports; the BBC puts the number as high as 42. Police in the state of Nagaland have already ID'd as many as 300 people who had either been a part of the mob or spurred it to action, the Times notes, and cops say more arrests are likely. Charges stemming from participating in what one official calls "a frenzied, leaderless, headless mob" include arson, unlawful assembly, and rioting. In response to videos of the mob attack going viral, the Nagaland government has blocked all Internet and mobile data services for 48 hours (that started Saturday night) and instituted a curfew yesterday in Dimapur from 3pm until midnight to "contain tension," the Times of India reports.

There's still much confusion around what transpired last Thursday, including how the mob got into the prison to drag suspect Syed Sharif Khan out into the streets: The BBC notes one story: that a small group of men entered the prison and asked for Khan, and prison officials gave in. And while the motivation for the lynching initially appeared to be a straightforward reaction to Khan's alleged rape of a young Naga girl—especially as others reacted to the banning of a recent rape documentary in India—Khan was also suspected of being one of the Muslim Bangladeshi accused of pouring into Nagaland and usurping land and resources from the locals. However, Khan was said to actually be a Bengali speaker from the neighboring Indian state of Assam, the BBC notes, with a father who had served in the Indian army and two brothers currently in the military.

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |