Authorities in Darrang district of Assam imposed an indefinite curfew in Dhula town on Wednesday after one person died and several were injured in police firing, Assam Times reported. The firing took place when a group of residents were protesting in front of Dhula Police Station alleging that a local worker had died in custody.
The police’s attempts to pacify the 5,000-strong mob failed and a section began to pelt stones at the officials, leading to injuries to at least seven personnel, The Indian Express reported. The police used batons and tear gas before firing shots, leading to the death of Mahidul Haque.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal ordered a high-level investigation into the police action on protestors. He asked Additional Chief Secretary MGVK Bhanu to submit a report within 15 days.
Darrang Superintendent of Police Sreejith T said the police had apprehended the local worker, identified as Hasen Ali, from No 2 Atakata village, about six kilometres from Dhula town, earlier in the day. Ranjit Hazarika, the officer in charge of Dhula Police Station, claimed that Ali had fallen ill while being taken to the police facility, said Sreejith T.
“He was taken to Mangaldoi Civil Hospital where he was declared brought dead,” said the superintendent of police. “The body was later shifted to Guwahati Medical College Hospital. But as the news of Ali’s death spread, a large crowd gathered and surrounded the Dhula Police Station in the morning. The crowd turned violent and began pelting stones”.
He added that Hazarika was suspended and later arrested, and a case of custodial death has been filed against him.