15 held for mob attack on police, Assam DGP issues direction for withdrawal of cops’ suspension orders

The violence broke out on Thursday after one Arshad Ali (42) had died at the Khelmati police outpost in Lakhimpur district, hours after he and four others were picked up by the police in connection with a mobile phone theft case.
For representational purposes
For representational purposesExpress Illustration

GUWAHATI: The Assam police arrested 15 persons in connection with an incident of mob violence which occurred after a man’s death in police custody, even as Director General of Police GP Singh issued a direction on Saturday for the withdrawal of suspension orders of two police personnel. 

The violence broke out on Thursday after one Arshad Ali (42) had died at the Khelmati police outpost in Lakhimpur district, hours after he and four others were picked up by the police in connection with a mobile phone theft case.

After the incident, the inspector in charge of Khelmati police outpost and a duty sentry were suspended by the authorities. The direction for withdrawal of the suspension orders was issued after the police had received the report of post-mortem.

Singh on Saturday said the preliminary post-mortem report indicated the person died due to pre-existing coronary disease. He said the Lakhimpur superintendent of police had been directed to withdraw the suspension orders of the personnel.

Earlier, the police had ordered a probe into the incident. Singh said the detailed enquiry and mandatory follow up would continue.

He said 15 persons, including two juveniles, were arrested on the basis of the evidence collected, including CCTV footage.

“Materials preparatory to arson have also been recovered and seized during the searches. Appropriate lawful action is being taken,” he added.

After Ali’s death on Wednesday night, the police said that he had fallen sick at the outpost and was declared dead when he was taken to the Lakhimpur Medical College. 

When the news of the custodial death spread on Thursday morning, a large mob gathered outside the outpost and attacked the police personnel by pelting stones. A police vehicle was damaged in the attack. The police dispersed the crowd by using batons and firing in the air.

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