A schoolboy died and two others were injured at the Rani Tea Estate in lower Assam's Kamrup district on Monday in an incident of firing, following which a crowd set ablaze factories and other property of the estate.
Police resorted to tear gas and lathi-charge to disperse the crowd and later arrested Mridul Kumar Bhattacharyya, the owner of the garden.
The victim has been identified as Pradip Murari, a student of class eight from a nearby locality.
Local residents alleged that the boy died when Mr. Bhattacharyya opened fire to disperse a crowd that had gathered inside the garden to protest against the alleged assault on a woman MNREGS job-card-holder by the owner earlier in the morning.
Inspector-General of Police (Central Western Range) Pallab Kumar Bhattacharyya told The Hindu that the owner allegedly fired one round from his DBBL gun when a crowd attacked him.
He said the weapon has been seized and two cases registered — one pertaining to the boy's death and the other to two incidents of arson and mob attack.
Deputy Commissioner S.K. Roy and Superintendent of Police Partha Sarothi Mahanta rushed to the estate with police reinforcements and paramilitary troops and tried to dissuade the crowd by promising to arrest the estate owner, who was hiding inside one of the garden property.
The crowd, however, insisted that the owner be handed over to them in handcuffs for a trial by the public.
Local MLA and Asom Gana Parishad legislator Ramendra Narayan Kalita intervened and tried to convince it that this would amount to taking the law into its hands.
MP visits spot
Member of Parliament from the Guwahati Lok Sabha constituency and BJP national vice-president Bijoya Chakrabarty also visited the estate.