Police in Assam arrested nine people, including a police officer, in connection with a mob attack on Friday in Hailakandi district during which 12 security personnel and some villagers were injured, The Telegraph reported. Police and Central Reserve Police Force personnel had rescued six of the nine after a mob attacked them on the suspicion of being child-lifters. The other three were arrested after being spotted at Panchgram area in the district.

Among those arrested are police constable Firuz Ahmed Laskar, along with Mehedi Hasan Choudhury, Sebul Hussain Laskar, Zahirul Islam Barbhuiya, Afjal Hussain Laskar, Sofique Uddin Laskar, Noshad Hussain Mazumdar and Rubal Ahmed Choudhury. While the police officer is a resident of Ratabari in Karimganj district, the others are from Sonai in Cachar district.

Hailakandi Superintendent of Police Pabindra Kumar said the incident occurred after a buffalo was stolen from Sonai and nine men, including the policeman in civilian clothes, went to look for it. They attempted to retrieve the animal after spotting it at a cattle market in Hailakandi. The policeman was not on duty.

They allegedly tried to take away the child of the man the animal was found with, following which a mob accused the men of being child-lifters. A team of police officials reached the spot to control the situation and rescue those being attacked, but they were also beaten up, according to The Shillong Times.

The injured included officer in charge of Hailakandi Sadar police station Hemanta Kumar Das, who is said to be in a serious condition. He was taken to the Silchar Medical College Hospital in Cachar district. Later, additional forces were sent to bring the situation under control.

A case has been registered against those arrested under sections 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 364 (abducting in order to murder), 511 (attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life), and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Nath said that six others were being interrogated about the episode and a search operation was under way in Laskar Bazar to nab those involved.

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Assam: 12 security personnel, some villagers injured in mob attack in Hailakandi district

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