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Assam 'custodial' death: Cops believe thana set afire to destroy criminal records of drug dealers

Nagaon Superintendent of Police Leena Doley told journalists that the houses of the accused were dens of unlawful activities and they had suspicious movement of people

Published: 23rd May 2022 08:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd May 2022 08:14 PM   |  A+A-

Police, Crime

The Nagaon Superintendent of Police said villagers told the police that the accused had criminal backgrounds (Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The Assam police are near certain that Saturday’s attack on the Batadrava police station in Nagaon was carried out by a mob to destroy criminal records of drug dealers, drug addicts, dacoits etc.

In videos that went viral on social media, the assailants can be seen first setting fire to files and documents. In another, a woman is seen pouring fuel, suspected to be petrol, on a police two-wheeler and another woman setting fire to it.

Nagaon Superintendent of Police Leena Doley told journalists the houses of the accused were dens of unlawful activities and they had suspicious movement of people. She said villagers told the police that the accused had criminal backgrounds.

“One thing has clearly emerged from our investigation that the incident was not spontaneous but pre-planned. They came prepared to attack the police station and the personnel,” the SP said.

“They had petrol with them. Possibly, they had their criminal records at the police station and they thought the records can be destroyed by torching the police station,” she added.

The police are also probing the jehadi angle. Recently, six operatives of banned Bangladeshi terror group Ansarullah Bangla Team were arrested from lower Assam’s Barpeta district.

The SP said the police requested the Nagaon district administration to conduct a survey in Batadrava and Dhing areas to find out if people were “unlawfully” settled there.

So far, six persons have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the attack. They were produced in a local court and it sent them to five-day police remand.

The police recovered a hand-made pistol, some live cartridges of 9mm pistol and psychotropic drug from the houses of some of the arrested persons.

The mob had set afire the police station and beat up the cops after the alleged custodial death of fish trader Safiqul Islam.

The police said Islam was brought to the police station on Friday night following receipt of a complaint that he was drunk and lying on a public road.

“He was booked after a medical checkup. The next day, he was released and handed over to his wife. His wife even gave him some water/food. Later, he complained of sickness and he was taken to two hospitals. Unfortunately he was declared dead,” Director-General of Police Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta said.

However, Islam’s wife alleged the police had demanded Rs 10,000 and a duck but as the family could afford only a duck, the police allegedly beat him up and killed him.



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