Guwahati, October 12: Fifteen people including 13 policemen who were trying to rescue 4 persons from being lynched were injured in a mob attack in Hailakandi district of Assam on Friday evening.
Nine people believed to be responsible for the attack have been arrested by Hailakandi police and six others picked up for interrogation. Search operations are underway to arrest other accused.
According to the police, the incident happened at Laskarbazar, nearly 13 km from Hailakandi district headquarters, when a group of nine people including a policeman from neighbouring Cachar district reached the area in search of a cow thief.
“A constable from Sonai police station in Cachar who was in plain clothes and 8 other people had arrived at the Laskarbazar weekly market to look for a cow thief without informing the local police,” said Hailakandi SP, Pabindra Kumar Nath.
The group was trying to forcibly take one person suspected to be a cow thief in their vehicle when local residents present at the spot surrounded them and started attacking.
While others of the group managed to flee, the police constable was held back. The irate mob also burnt the vehicle in which the group had reached Laskarbazar.
“As soon as we got information, police rushed and rescued the constable. We later came to know that 5 others of the group who had escaped from the scene were holed up in a shop which had been surrounded by hundreds of people,” said Nath.
As news of the incident spread, local MLA Anuwar Hussain Laskar and other district officials along with more police personnel reached the spot to try and diffuse the situation and rescue the 5 people.
“As the efforts were underway, the mob started pelting stones. We conducted a baton charge to disperse them and were able to rescue the 5 people. But 15 people including 13 policemen were injured in the mob attack,” said Nath.
Among the injured was Hemanta Kumar Nath, in-charge of Hailakandi Sadar police station who sustained head injuries and has been shifted to Guwahati for further treatment.
“Some reports mention that the group was attacked on suspicion of being child lifters. That is not true. The mob attacked when they saw people in plain clothes trying to put a person forcibly into a vehicle,” said Nath.
According to officials, the situation has returned to normal in the area. (Agencies)