Dr Deben Dutta (73) was reportedly beaten to death by garden workers in Assam’s Jorhat district on Saturday Credit: File image

Jorhat: The decision of the management of the Teok Tea Estate in Assam’s Jorhat district to declare lockout of the garden following the alleged lynching of senior resident doctor, Dr Deben Dutta, on Saturday entered its second day on Monday. With five more in police custody, the number of arrests in this connection has risen to 26 so far.

The lockout has been declared in the main garden, factory and in the Konikor-Dalimi out-division of the estate, as per the notice issued by the management of the garden owned by Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited.

Dr Dutta, who hailed from Teok Jagduar, succumbed to his injuries at Jorhat Medical College and Hospital on Saturday evening. He sustained severe injuries after being allegedly assaulted by tea garden labourers following the death of a patient, Sukra Majhi (32), who was a labourer in Teok Tea Estate.

IGP (law and order) Dipak Kedia already visited the garden and took stock of the situation. The IGP also chaired a meeting of senior police officials at the Jorhat Police Station and reviewed the progress of investigation in the case.

Meanwhile, in a joint press statement, the state unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Assam Medical Service Association (AMSA) called for 24-hour withdrawal of medical services, excluding emergency services by doctors, from 6 am of September 3 to 6 am next day, as a mark of protest against the incident.

Angry doctors, under the banner of Jorhat Doctors’ Association (JDA), took out a candlelight march inside Jorhat Medical College on Saturday evening demanding justice and security for doctors.

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Teok revenue circle officer Bhaskar Rajbongshi said that the cremation of Dutta was done on Sunday at Teok Jogduwar after his body was brought to his residence from JMCH where many paid homage to the departed soul. Rajbongshi said that the body of the worker, Somra Majhi, was also cremated on Sunday within the garden premises.

The revenue circle officer said that the administration was keeping a close watch on the situation. He said that the office of the Assistant Labour Commissioner’s office, Jorhat soon will be initiating the process for reconciliation by organising talks between the management and workers to bring back normalcy in the garden so that lockout could be lifted.

Earlier, talking to the EastMojo, Jorhat SP Vaibhav Chandrakant Nimbalkar said, “Based on the accounts of eyewitnesses and videos collected from them, we have detained 21 persons so far. We are trying to identify more persons involved in the incident and arrest them. IGP (law and order) Deepak Kedia, DIG (eastern range) V Siva Prasad Ganjala and I visited the tea estate on Sunday for the second time to take the stock of the situation,” he added.

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