A 54-year-old man, accused of raping two minors, was shot at by the police on Monday for allegedly trying to escape custody in Karbi Anglong district of Assam, reported PTI.

An unidentified senior police official told the news agency that the man had raped an eight-year-old girl on March 10 and her five-year-old sister on March 18.

The man allegedly tried to flee when he was being taken to Kheroni police station of Karbi Anglong. The police open fired at him, aiming for his leg, reported PTI. He was taken to the local Diphu Medical College and Hospital for treatment.

Three similar shootings in a week

On March 16, 21-year-old Biki Ali and 38-year-old Rajesh Munda – both rape accused – were shot dead by the Assam Police within a day of their arrest. In both cases, the police had claimed they were trying to flee custody.

Ali, accused of raping a 15-year-old girl, was shot in Guwahati. Meanwhile, Munda was accused of raping and killing a seven-year-old girl in a tea garden in Udalguri district.

At least 35 people have now been killed in police shootings since the Bharatiya Janata Party returned to power in Assam in May 2021, with Himanta Biswa Sarma at the helm.

Addressing the state Assembly on March 15, the chief minister had claimed that the crime rate had decreased in the state. He attributed this decline in numbers to the police action on alleged criminals when they try to flee from custody.

He said that the number of cases registered in police stations in the months of January and February last year had declined by 30% during the same period in 2022.