Dr Deven Dutta became the latest victim of mob lynching in India over the weekend when a group of murderers killed him because he was not present at a local hospital when an injured tea worker was brought in for treatment. Little did the killers of the 73-year-old doctor in Assam’s Jorhat district realise that their victim had long retired from the profession and was only serving the community for the sake of humanity.
On Saturday, a tea estate worker, Somra Majhi, was taken to a local hospital inside Teok Tea Estate. She was brought in a critical condition. Dr Dutta was not on duty. The pharmacist too was on leave. A nurse at the tea estate hospital administered saline but Somra died after a short while.
Local tea estate workers blamed Dr Dutta for their fellow worker’s death and mercilessly beat him up when he arrived at around 3.30 pm. The video of Dr Dutta being lynched went viral. He was rescued by the police but succumbed to his injuries on his way to the hospital.
Although the police have arrested 21 people in connection with his gruesome murder, Dr Dutta’s lynching has sent shockwaves across the country. The Indian Medical Association has called for a strike and withdrawal of emergency services.
But the most scathing reaction has come from the West Bengal Doctors Forum, which issued a statement condemning the killing. The forum, according to NDTV, said, “Dr Dutta had involved himself in the service of his community even after retirement. The people he served thanked him by murdering him in front of the police.”
Teok Tea Estate is a tea garden under Amalgamated Plantations Pvt Ltd, which is an enterprise carved out of Tata Tea Ltd.
Assam is governed by the BJP, a party that has also been ruling India since 2014. The country has witnessed an alarming rise in lynchings of innocent individuals in that period. What started as a tool to punish Muslims has now turned into an unstoppable epidemic.