Hundreds of tea plantation workers have set alight their boss’s bungalow at Kunapathar in Assam state north-east India, burning to death the owner and his wife, officials say.
Angry workers surrounded the bungalow at Kunapathar late on Wednesday, following a two-week long dispute with the management.
Police said the incident happened after the management asked some workers to leave their accommodation.
More than half of India’s tea output comes from 800 tea estates in Assam.
Local official SS Meenakshi Sundaram said some 700 tea garden workers surrounded the manager’s bungalow on Wednesday evening and set it on fire. Two vehicles belonging to the manager were also torched.
Hundreds of tea plantation workers have set alight their boss’s bungalow at Kunapathar in Assam state north-east India, burning to death the owner and his wife
The charred bodies of Mridul Kumar Bhattacharyya and his wife, Rita, were later recovered from the debris, Meenakshi Sundaram said.
Police have detained three workers in connection with the incident.
Officials said Mridul Kumar Bhattacharyya and his workers had been locked in a dispute for the past two weeks.
They said Mridul Kumar Bhattacharyya had also faced protests at another tea estate that he owned two years ago.
In that dispute, angry workers set fire to his tea factory near the state capital, Guwahati, after he had allegedly fired on a crowd that had gathered near his house to protest against a reported attack on a local woman.
Several incidents of attacks on tea executives by angry workers have been reported from Assam in recent years.
Indian divers and rescue workers are looking for survivors on the Brahmaputra river in Assam state, where a ferry capsized during a storm on Monday, killing at least 103 people.
Police said about 150 people had been rescued or swam to safety while at least 100 more were missing.
The death toll was likely to rise, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.
Lax safety standards mean ferry accidents are common on the river, but this is one of the worst disasters.
The accident happened in the remote district of Dhubri, about 350 km (215 miles) west of Assam’s main city, Guwahati.
The ferry capsized and broke into two pieces during the storm, police said.
Many of Indian boats are overcrowded with poor or minimal safety features
Witnesses said many passengers were swept away by the river’s strong current after the boat broke up.
A passenger, Hasnat Ali, told local TV channels that about 200 people were travelling inside the boat along with cargo.
Hasnat Ali said he was riding on the top of the ferry with 150 other people when the storm hit, throwing off many of them.
He said he managed to hold on to a log and was rescued by villagers.
The ferry carried no lifeboats or life jackets and was overloaded with people and goods, according to a police officer quoted by Reuters news agency.
Boats are a common mode of transport in the area, which is dotted with small islands and villages along the banks of the river.
Many of the boats are overcrowded with poor or minimal safety features.