Assam: Day after mob burns down police station in Nagaon, houses of accused demolished

Five miscreants were on Sunday arrested for the arson at Batadraba Police Station in Assam's Nagaon district, and a special Investigation Team (SIT) will soon be constituted to inquire into the incident, said Assam Director General of Police (DGP) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta. A separate probe has also been ordered into the alleged custodial death of a local resident, which triggered the attack on the police station, he said. He added that the in-charge of Batadraba police station has been suspended. Mahanta also claimed that those involved in the burning down of the police station with criminal records in it were not grieving relatives of the deceased but were history-sheeters, and asserted that this was not a simple action-reaction incident and there is much more to it. Nagaon administration also, on Sunday, demolished the residences of five families allegedly involved in setting fire to the police station. What is the case A mob set Batadrava police station in Nagaon district on fire after a man allegedly died in police custody on Saturday. The man, identified as Safiqul Islam, was a fish trader from Salonabori village. Following the incident, the Nagaon administration on Sunday demolished the residences of five families allegedly involved in the arson case. On the other hand, Assam Police suspended the officer in charge of Batadraba police station to ensure a fair probe in the matter of the death of Safiqul Islam in custody and an SIT, headed by an additional superintendent of police, will be formed to look into the case. DGP statement Narrating the incident in a long Facebook post on the DGP's official page , Mahanta said that 39-year-old Safiqul Islam was brought to the police station at 9.30 pm on 20 May after receiving a complaint of him being in a drunken state. "He was in fact lying on a public road before he was brought in. He was booked after a medical check-up. The next day he was released and handed over to his wife. His wife even gave him some water/food. "Later he complained of sickness and he was taken to two hospitals, one after another.  Unfortunately, he was declared dead," he said. After this, a mob set ablaze the police station and several two-wheelers on Saturday afternoon alleging that the fish trader died due to police torture. Speaking about the violence, Mahanta said, "What took place later that day, we all know. Some local bad elements took law into their own hands and burnt down the thana. These bad elements came in all forms -- women, men, young and old. But the preparedness with which they came, the ferocious and organised attack they staged on the police force has made us think deeper." The DGP asserted that Assam Police does not think the attackers were grieving relatives of the deceased, but as it has identified "they were bad characters and their relatives with criminal records that were within the thana. Proof, incrementing evidence -- all burnt down. So don't think this is a simple action-reaction incident. There is much more to it." Ansarullah Bangla Team To a question on possible involvement of jihadis behind the attack, Mahanta said, I will not call them jihadis. But perhaps the mob was organised by people who were trained by outfits engaged in anti-India activities. The DGP said police have information that fundamentalist outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) was trying to set base in Nagaon and adjoining areas. He said, "ABT modules were busted recently in Assam, Tripura and Bhopal. We are aware that some of them are functioning in these areas. They have entered mosques and madrassas, but they don't have the support of common people. They are trying to create sleeper cells so that foreign mujahideens can be brought here". Mahanta said that the incident seemed "systematic and planned". The DGP also said that a drug peddler and a dacoit have been identified in the mob that had set ablaze the police station, with the police also trying to find out if the attack was aimed at burning down evidence and case diaries. He stated that an additional SP of neighbouring district of Karbi Anglong, Prakash Sonowal, has been entrusted with the task of conducting an independent inquiry into the allegation of custodial death. "I have seen a photo which clearly indicates that Islam was drunk or high on drugs when he was brought in to the police station on Friday night. Technically, he died in custody. There is allegation of fault on part of the police and the independent inquiry will determine it," he added. Warning He assured the people of Assam that while his force will not let go of any police personnel found guilty, it will act even tougher against "elements who think that they can escape the Indian justice system by burning down police stations". "We will simply not allow this. Let this be first and last warning to all antisocial/criminal elements," he added. What Safiqul Islam's family says The family members of the deceased fish trader from Salonabori village claimed that the police had demanded Rs 10,000 and a duck as a bribe for his release, and his wife visited the police station with a duck on Saturday morning. When she returned with the money later, she learnt that her husband had been taken to Nagaon Civil Hospital. After reaching there, she found him dead, they claimed. Alleging that the man died because of torture, villagers gheraoed the police station, allegedly assaulted on-duty personnel and then torched the building. Videos of the incident showed a woman sprinkling some inflammable liquid on two-wheelers parked in front of the police station and setting them on fire. The blaze engulfed the police station soon after and fire tenders later doused it. With input from agencies Read all the Latest News , Trending News , Cricket News , Bollywood News , India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram .

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