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Assam tea garden guard dies in market, family claims lynching
Silchar (Assam), March 28 - An Assam Tea Security Force (ATSF) guard died in Cachar district of southern Assam on Saturday, following which his family claimed he was lynched by a mob while enforcing the ongoing lockdown at a market, but police said his death was due to a quarrel and high blood pressure.
According to Cachar district Police chief Manabendra Dev Ray, the 52-years-old ATSF guard Baktaruddin Barbhuiya died at a vegetable market in Sonabarighat village close to Silchar town probably because of blood pressure after a quarrel with a paan (betel leaf) shop vendor.
No injury marks on his body was found as his wife claimed that Barbhuiya was lynched by a mob while enforcing the lockdown.
Dev Ray said the body of the ATSF guard was taken to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital, where an inquest examination is being done to ascertain the cause of his death.
Police have detained five people for the incident.
Barbhuiya's wife, who works at a nearby tea garden, however, while talking to the media and police claimed that her husband was hacked to death by some of the sellers and buyers in the market that was open in breach of the lockdown order enforced by the Assam government.
The state government on March 24 announced that all markets in the state, except grocery, vegetables and milk shops, petrol pumps and pharmacies, would remain closed till March 31. This caused overcrowding of markets by frantic buyers.
The Assam government had raised the ATSF in the mid-nineties by recruiting ex-servicemen of the Assam Industrial Security Force during 1993 and 1996 to provide nominal security to the 765 tea gardens. The ATSF worked under the Assam police.
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