| The devastated Ujaragaon village in Nagaon district after the clash on Monday. Picture by UB Photos
Nagaon, Aug. 22: A youth was beaten to death on charges of theft in a village near the Nagaon district headquarters last night, triggering a clash that threatened to snowball into a communal riot.
The district administration has imposed a partial curfew from 5pm to 5am to bring the situation under control.
Mintu Ahmed, 32, a resident of Pakhimoria village, was caught by villagers of neighbouring Ujoragaon for allegedly stealing from a local telephone exchange.
He was then taken to the local community hall where the villagers beat him to death.
They then strung up the body inside the hall to make it look like a suicide.
On hearing the news, villagers of Pakhimoria attacked Ujoragaon early this morning.
Ahmed, they claimed, was an innocent grocery shop owner. Ahmed, a popular social worker, was innocent. His death is a big loss to our area, Imdadul Hussain, a resident of Pakhimoria village, said.
The mob torched 15 huts and two vehicles and beat up five persons, including Ujoragaon village headman Promod Bora.
Bora, along with the four other villagers, was later admitted to Nagaon Bhugeswari Phukanoni Civil Hospital in a critical condition.
A team of Nagaon administration led by deputy commissioner M. Angamuthu rushed to the site to prevent further flare-up.
A source said the clash was politically motivated and was related to the forthcoming panchayat elections.
The group that attacked our village included two political leaders who instigated the mob to torch the houses. We want a high-level inquiry, Biman Jyoti Saikia, a resident of Ujoragaon village, said.
Nagaon additional superintendent of police (headquarters) Amitabh Sinha said two companies of the CRPF and one company of the 9 Assam police battalion have been deployed.
Most of the accused have fled but we are on the job. The situation is under control and we hope no unwanted incident will take place, the deputy commissioner said.