A man accused of rape and murder was on Thursday beaten to death by a mob in Assam’s Lakhimpur district, the Hindustan Times reported.

Raju Baruah alias Gerjai, had escaped from police custody on Tuesday.

Superintendent of Police BM Rajkhowa described Baruah as an “infamous criminal” who had more than a dozen cases of dacoity, rape and murder registered against him. “Locals are aware about his criminal activities,” he said.

A group of villagers reportedly spotted Baruah when he was hiding near a stream near Kilakili village. They subsequently thrashed him and handed him over to the police.

“We got to know about the incident early on Thursday morning,” the superintendent of police said. “By the time a police team reached the spot, the accused was already severely injured and unconscious. He was taken to a local hospital, but succumbed to injuries.”

The police have filed a murder case against unidentified persons. No arrests have been made yet.

Two police personnel also sustained injuries while trying to save Baruah from the mob, an unidentified official told PTI.

After news spread about Baruah’s death, a huge crowd gathered at the Dhakuakhana Civil Hospital in the Lakhimpur district to see his body. A large police contingent was deployed to control the crowd, an unidentified official told PTI.

On January 22, Baruah had escaped from the coronavirus ward of a hospital in North Lakhimpur. However, the police had arrested him again two days later.

In September, he was injured in a gunfight with the police.