At least 12 security personnel and some villagers were injured when an irate mob attacked them in Nitainagar village in Hailakandi district of Assam on Friday night, PTI reported. The mob allegedly attacked the security personnel and villagers after they tried to prevent the lynching of four men.

The injured included Hailakandi Sadar police station officer in-charge Hemanta Kumar Das, second officer Ashoke Chakraborty, Algapur police station officer in-charge Borat Chandra Kar and two jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force.

Additional Superintendent of Police Barun Purkayastha said a group of nine people, including police constable Jamil Hussain, had gone to the weekly Laskarbazar cattle market in Nitainagar. Local persons, suspecting the nine individuals to be child-lifters, attacked them. The mob also set on fire the vehicle that the nine individuals had travelled in.

A police team from Hailakandi Sadar police station and CRPF jawans went to the spot and tried to stop four of the nine individuals from being lynched. But the mob also thrashed the officials. Some locals who tried to save the policemen from being beaten up also suffered injuries.

Purkayastha added that Das’ condition was serious, and he was taken to the Silchar Medical College Hospital in Cachar district. Later, additional forces were rushed in to bring the situation under control.

District Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli appealed to the people to maintain calm. “We assure you that the administration and police will remain alert,” she said. “It is reiterated that there is no report on missing persons or kidnapping cases filed in police stations of the district. Fear psychosis is being built on unfounded rumours. Matter is under investigation. Request everyone to remain calm.”

There have been several cases of mob lynchings across the country over the past year. Last month, a mentally challenged man was allegedly tied to a tree and beaten up in a village in Cooch Behar in West Bengal. However, the police rescued him.

On September 8, a 30-year-old electrician was beaten up by a mob on suspicion that he was a child kidnapper in Hirapur area in West Burdwan district. The police rescued the man and have arrested one accused in the case.

A man was killed by a mob in Jharkhand’s Khunti district in June after villagers saw him and his two companions allegedly carving out meat from an animal carcass. His two friends were taken to the hospital. The same month, a 24-year Muslim man, Tabrez Ansari, was beaten by a mob in Seraikela Kharsawan district of Jharkhand, following which he died in the hospital.

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