People laid siege to a fire station in Assam's Hailakandi district and pelted the police and security forces with stones on Saturday over rumours of the death of a suspected thief due to alleged torture by fire brigade personnel, police said.
Police and security forces burst tear gas shells and resorted to lathi-charge after some personnel, including senior police official Kulendra Nath Deka, sustained injuries in the stone-pelting, they said.
Tension erupted after rumours spread that a convict, arrested by the people for allegedly stealing a mobile phone and Rs 25,000 in cash from a fire brigade personnel and handed over to the police on Thursday, died at a hospital due to alleged torture by fire brigade personnel, a police officer said.
The accused, on the other hand, was released after the police secured a bond from him, he said.
Some of the accused then instigated the public to lay siege to the fire station at Basic Road in Hailakandi town, the officer said.
Fire Station Officer Albert I Khobung claimed that fire brigade personnel were not involved in beating the accused and that an FIR will be lodged over the incident.
Four fire brigade personnel have been "picked up" for interrogation, Mr Deka said.
An investigation is underway to identify those behind the incident, he said.