On Saturday, 73-year-old Dr Deben Dutta, a doctor with a long, illustrious career, was dragged, kicked, slapped and punched by a mob at a tea estate where he had volunteered his services after retirement just a few years ago.
He was even cut with shards of glass by the attackers, many of them tea workers who were allegedly furious that he was not in the estate hospital when a colleague died.
The worker had been brought in a critical state in the afternoon. The nurse present at the time administered saline. The worker soon died.
Dr Dutta arrived at the hospital about three hours later, unaware of the mob that would set upon him. The father of two died moments after he was rescued by the police later.
Dr Dutta, a graduate from the Assam Medical College in Dibrugarh, joined the Teok Tea Estate first in 1972 and worked there for 11 years. He worked at many other Tata Tea estates - Hattigar, Kakajan, Borhat and Naharani - before retiring in 2005.
He took charge of the company's welfare wing, based in Guwahati the same year. Friends recall a soft-spoken, amicable person who was respected by his colleagues.
He returned to his first workplace, Teok, in 2014 and offered his services as a medical officer there.
Teok is a tea garden under Amalgamated Plantations, which is an enterprise carved out of Tata Tea.
"He was very competent, a well-read professional who kept himself updated with the latest developments in his field," said a doctor who worked with him.
"Patients saw him as a very dedicated doctor. This is not the way someone like him should die, attacked by the very people he served till his last breath."
The medical community is in shock. "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," the West Bengal Doctors Forum said in a statement.