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21 Held for Mob Killing of 73-year-old Doctor Over Co-worker's Death in Assam Tea Estate

Representative image.

Representative image.

The tea workers were apparently angry about a co-worker dying at a time when the victim, Deven Dutta, was not present at the hospital.

The police arrested 21 people who were part of a 250-strong mob that beat a 73-year-old doctor to death in a tea garden in Assam’s Jorhat Saturday evening.

The arrests were made on the basis of the video evidence that the administration collected from the site after the incident, police said.

The tea workers were apparently angry about a co-worker dying at a time when the victim, Deven Dutta, was not present at the hospital. The Indian Medical Association has called a strike, including withdrawal of emergency services, starting 6 am on Tuesday.

"The garden doctor, 73-year-old Dr Deben Dutta was assaulted following the death of one Somra Majhi who was undergoing treatment at the estate's hospital," a statement by Jorhat district Deputy Commissioner Roshni Aparanji Korati said.

Blaming Dutta for being absent from duty, the enraged workers locked him up in a room after he reached the hospital and proceeded to beat him. "Mindless and murderous assault perpetrated on the Medical Officer of Teok Tea Estate while he was on duty in the Estate Hospital," the Deputy Commissioner's statement read.

The tea estate’s welfare officer Jiban Kurmi was also roughed up after he tried to rescue the doctor.

Amalgamated Plantation limited, which owns the Teok Tea estate, in a lock-out notice said that the "unruly crowd of workers, non-workers and outsiders...became violent and started to throw stones" even after the police and CRPF personnel arrived at the scene. The doctor was then rushed to Jorhat Medical College and Hospital (JMCH), where he succumbed to his injuries.

The plantation owners in the notice said that the employees' wages will be withheld until the situation is resolved. The tea estate has been locked down for now by the management over safety concerns

first published:September 02, 2019, 10:02 IST