The prime accused in inciting mob violence leading to the torching of a police station in Assam’s Nagaon district, died in an accident while allegedly trying to escape from police custody on Monday morning, officials said.
Ashikul Islam was hit by the escort vehicle of a police team he was accompanying, as the accused made an attempt to flee, they said.
He was rushed to the Nagaon Civil Hospital where doctors declared him dead, Nagaon Superintendent of Police Leena Doley told reporters.
Five police personnel, including a sub-inspector, suffered minor injuries, she said.
Islam was arrested on Sunday and based on his interrogation, the team of police personnel took him to his house in Juria to recover arms and ammunition.
Police seized two pistols with seven rounds of live ammunition from his house, along with a red t-shirt “he was seen wearing in a video while inciting the mob on May 21”, leading to the torching of the Batadrava police station, Doley said.
Eleven people have so far been arrested, including Islam, in connection with the incident following the death of a fish seller who was in custody.
Police claimed that the fish seller, Safikul Islam, had died as he was unwell, but his family members alleged that police demanded Rs 10,000 and a duck to release him.
The family members also claimed that they were ready to give a duck but as they did not have the money, the police beat him up, leading to his death.
An angry mob then stormed the police station and set it ablaze following which the authorities demolished the houses of those allegedly involved in the incident, including that of the fish seller, on May 22, asserting that they were “encroachers” who had settled on government land.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been set up to monitor the investigation into the entire incident.
At least 48 people have been killed and 116 injured in police action while allegedly trying to flee custody or attacking law enforcers since the Himanta Biswa Sarma government came to power in May last year.