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Assam Torching Case: Prime Accused Killed in Accident While 'Escaping' Custody

Ashikul Islam attempted to flee but was hit by the escort vehicle of a police team he was accompanying.

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The prime accused, who incited mob violence that led to the torching of a police station in the Nagaon district of Assam, died in an accident while allegedly trying to escape from police custody on Monday, 30 May, officials said, as per PTI.

On Saturday, 21 May, alleging that a fish trader named Safikul Islam was killed in police custody, an angry mob from Salonbari torched the police station and indulged in vandalism.

A day later, the district administration bulldozed the homes of five families who were allegedly involved in the vandalism and arson of the station. The Assam Police had also arrested the wife and daughter of Safiqul Islam.

On Monday, officials said that the prime accused, Ashikul Islam, attempted to flee but was hit by the escort vehicle of a police team he was accompanying.

Nagaon Superintendent of Police Leena Doley said Ashikul was rushed to the Nagaon Civil Hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead. Doley also informed that five police personnel, including a sub-inspector, suffered minor injuries.

The police had arrested Ashikul on Sunday. After interrogating him, police took him to his house in Juria to recover arms and ammunition.

Background About the Case

The police detained Safikul Islam, a fish-seller and resident of Salonibari village after he was reportedly found in a drunken state on the road at night. He was brought to the Batadrava police station, where police allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 10,000 and a duck.

Islam's family claimed that he was assaulted in custody for not being able to pay the bribe. Then, alleging death in custody, an irate mob from the village attacked and torched the Batadrava police station.

On 22 May, bulldozers arrived at the village, and residences of at least five families were demolished by the authorities.

Later in the day, at least six people were arrested and charged for arson and vandalism. Three cases – one into Islam's death, one in the fire disaster, and one pertaining to terror links – were registered ever since the fish trader's demise.

An independent probe was ordered into the alleged custodial death of Safikul. In addition, the officer-in-charge of the police station was suspended following his death.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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Topics:  Assam 

Edited By :Padmashree Pande
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