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Indian Investors Held for Killing 11 Year Old Boy; Locals Seek Vengeance

By Patrick Akena

Police in Kole district have in detention two Indian nationals who are accused of murdering a preteen boy who was on his way from school.

Police, with help from residents of Alito Sub County, on Friday arrested the two suspects who were identified only as Manav and Franav, both agents of Nina Industries Company, which deals in textiles.

These are said to have beaten to death 11 year old Dick Okello, son of one Tom Ojukam, a resident of Doggudu Cell in Alito Sub County.

The P.3 pupil was returning home from school with his elder brother Denis Ogwang, 15.

Ogwang says he and his brother were accosted by the two suspects who were driving in a white double cabin pickup.

The attack, he says, happened near the home of Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal

Ogwang says he and his brother tried to run away from the attackers by the latter was not fast enough.

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When they got him, he says, they threw down and started beating him.

It was still unclear what the intent of the two suspects was.

As residents responded to the wailing boys, John Opio, a renowned evangelist in Lango who had gone on a pastoral visit to the area, used his motor cycle to block the road and stop the two Indians from escaping.

They were arrested and taken to Kole central police station where they spent the night.

On being questioned, the suspects described the incident as an accident.

The battered minor was rushed to Lira Regional Referral Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The clan chief of the deceased boy, Dr. Richard Nam who is also the Prime Minister of Lango chiefdom aligned to the leadership of Paramount Chief Yosam Odur, promised stringent action against the suspects.

On Saturday morning the speaker of Lira district council Mr George Rashid Opio called on residents to boycott all shops and businesses owned by Indians in the area.

Speaking during a political talk show on Unity FM, Opio said this boycott should be maintained until the case is fully resolved.

If this case is proved, it will be an addition to a list of such other cases of human rights abuses committed by the Indian community doing business in Lango sub region.

Recently, one is said to have urinated on his employees at Mt. Meru Company in Lira town.

At Tip Top Bakery in Railway Division, Lira town, Indian nationals were reported to have stuffed red pepper in the anus of an employee on allegations that he stole bread from the factory.

Another incident was reported at a factory where a local lost a hand in an accident and his Indian employers abandoned him at a clinic, and later dismissed him.

A fortnight ago, another Indian oil miller along Maruzi road was only contained by locals when he physically assaulted his female employee for allegedly reporting late at work.

Last year, locals of Lango muted a plan to shun businesses owned by Indians after a series of allegations were brought up against Indian business community. The allegations spanned from human rights abuses to selling fake products such as sand branded as cement.

Following this latest occurrence, the Lango Chiefdom has promised to convene an emergency council meeting for cultural leaders to address the impasse between their subjects and Indians.

The speaker of Lango cultural foundation Benson Dilla_Oyuku, says the exact date for the meeting will be communicate in a due cost. The speaker decried behaviors of Indians in Lango calling it barbaric.

The chairman of the Indian community in Lango Surjit Singh had earlier urged his members to be law abiding.

He was responding to an outcry from Lira Municipality residents against Indians for allegedly displaying fireworks for over 30 minutes on Wednesday night during the cerebrations of a Diwali, a Hindu festival of light.

A guest is said to have fallen off a hotel balcony on hearing a blast and was admitted in critical condition at Lira Regional Referral Hospital for medication.

Meanwhile, the body of the deceased boy was today brought to Kampala for a second postmortem after the first was contested.

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