Four persons were arrested on Sunday for allegedly killing a man and seriously injuring another after their scooter hit three people in Assam's Jorhat district, PTI reported.
The two men, identified as Debashish Gogoi and Aditya Das, were a part of a group of nine people who had gone for birthday celebrations in the Gabroo Tea Estate area on three scooties and two bikes on Friday. "Our two-wheeler skidded and the accident happened in front of the garden's tea factory. Hundreds of the garden workers gathered and began raining blows and kicks on us," said Das told The Hindu.
Gogoi's father and sister rushed to the accident site on being told about the assault. However, the mob of garden workers turned a deaf ear to their pleas and continues attacking the two men.
Jorhat Superintendent of Police Mrinal Talukdar said both the men were drunk when the accident occurred. "On the way, two bike riders hit two women and a man, who were returning from the tea garden after plucking tea leaves," he said. The workers were rushed to the Gabroo Tea Estate hospital for treatment.
Talukdar added that all the youths, except Gogoi and Das, managed to flee after the accident. Labourers from a tea garden factory badly beat up the two men, who were later taken to a hospital by the police. The 24-year-old Mariani resident Gogoi succumbed to his injuries on Saturday while Das was discharged after treatment.
While stressing that it is not a mob lynching case, Talukdar said that a magisterial inquiry has been ordered by the administration and it will be conducted by Additional DC Biswajit Phukan. "We are interrogating four people who have been picked up in connection with the incident. A case has been registered against them," said Deberapar police outpost's in-charge R Dutta. He said others could be arrested soon. Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Roshni Aparanji Korati too appealed against giving the "road rage" kind of incident a communal colour.
The incident comes only a week after a middle-aged vegetable vendor was killed in a similar incident in Kamrup district. The bicycle-borne vendor, who had started selling vegetables after losing his job due to the coronavirus lockdown, was allegedly killed after he grazed a car in the Monahkuchi village. Two of the five people identified as the culprits have been arrested.
In April, two brothers, who had recently been released from prison in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, were beaten to death in Assam's Baksa district. In 2018, two young men were lynched by a mob in the state's Karbi Anglong district on the suspicion of kidnapping children.