On Monday, Assam Police announced that five of the six suspects accused of torching a police station in Nagaon district would be charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for alleged terror linkages.
The wife and small daughter of Safikul Islam, a seafood dealer whose suspected custodial death sparked protests, and a mob torching Batadrava police station in Nagaon on Saturday are among those arrested in the arson case.
“In the video footage, both the wife and the daughter can be seen setting fire to the police station. The others arrested are also relatives (of the deceased),” Nagaon SP Leena Doley told The Indian Express. Doley said the minor has been apprehended as per Juvenile Justice rules. “We are treating her as a child in conflict with the law,” she said.
Doley stated three charges were filed in the aftermath of the incident: an unnatural death case for Safikul's death in prison, an arson case for torching the police station, and a UAPA case because police suspect the accused have "terror links."
While the first two have been registered at Batadrava police station, the UAPA case was registered under Dhing police station, which has jurisdiction over the village of the accused people.
“We have been informed about many criminal activities of the accused persons…we suspect (they have) terror links, too, and have got in touch with the police in Barpeta and Bongaigaon districts to confirm whether any of them are linked to the Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT),” Doley said.
The ABT is a proscribed terrorist organisation in Bangladesh. Since March, Assam Police has arrested at least 10 people in Barpeta and Bongaigaon districts with alleged links to ABT.
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