A controversy has arisen over the death of a woman allegedly killed by her husband for "kissing" Rahul Gandhi, but top police officials and the state Congress unit have denied her presence during his interaction with women party workers in Jorhat this week.
According to her neighbours as well as some of the women who attended the interaction, Bekajan Gaon Panchayat councillor Bonti Chutia (38) had died after her jealous husband allegedly burnt her for planting a kiss on the cheek of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi during the interaction.
This has been denied by Jorhat district Superintendent of Police Amanjeet Kaur stating "Bonti was not present in the interaction with Rahul Gandhi at Kachari Maiden in Jorhat on February 26 evening".
"I have gone through the list of the 600 women who attended the interaction and Bonti Chutia's name is not there. Her case is unrelated to Gandhi's interaction meet," Kaur said.
Local MLA and Congress General Secretary Rana Goswami and APCC chief spokesman Mehdi Alam Bora told the media that inquiries at the party level from its district and local units revealed that Bhonti did not attend the meeting.
"Also video footages showed that she was not present in the interaction. All those who attended the meeting entered only with security cards issued by the SPG. And Bonti's name is not there. Her death has no connection with Rahul Gandhi", Congress chief spokesman Bora said.
Bonti Chutia's neighbours claimed on television channels that on her return home, her husband Someswar Chutia (44) had an argument with her as he was against her going for the interaction and was unhappy on seeing her on television channels hugging and kissing Gandhi.
When the news of Bonti kissing Gandhi attracted wide publicity in the area the next day, the neighbours alleged her husband got furious and fought with her after locking her up in a room.
Later, he set her ablaze after pouring kerosene on her, they alleged.
Someswar also got burnt critically when they had a scuffle as Bonti tried to save herself, the people claimed.
According to police sources, Bonti died of 95 per cent burn injuries in JorhatMedicalCollegeHospital on Friday evening
Her husband, who was also admitted to the hospital with her, was shifted to the AssamMedicalCollege in Dibrugarh in critical condition.
The neighbours also alleged that Someswar was against Bonti joining politics and this had led to frequent clashes between them.
During the interaction, telecast live in the local news channels, a few of the women present were seen hugging and kissing the Gandhi scion in a show of their love, affection and support for him.
Additional Inputs: PTI