Tea plantation workers in India killed their boss and his wife after setting fire to their house following a bitter dispute.
Hundreds of workers surrounded their boss’s bungalow at Kunapathar in Assam state, reports the BBC.
A local official, SS Meenakshi Sundaram, said around 700 tea garden workers, reportedly armed with poison arrows and bows, torched the bungalow, killing the boss of the tea estate and his wife. Two vehicles were also torched.
The horrifying incident follows a two-week dispute. Police have reported the situation escalated when management asked some workers to leave their accommodation.
The bodies of Mridul Kumar Bhattacharyya and his wife, Rita, were recovered from the debris.
A tea estate female worker told News Live local TV: “We all came and attacked the bungalow and set it on fire.
“They deserved to be killed as the planter has exploited us for a long time and tortured us for petty things,” reports the Telegraph.
Police superintendent P.P Singh believes the workers were angry because the owners had mistreated female workers.
“The labourers held a lot of grudges against the owners for taking church land, being rude, especially to the women,” he said.
“But we cannot take this hanky-panky, it was a mob and they have openly set [the building] on fire. They said openly we've set fire to this house, in front of us.
“The majority of the mob are women and children – between 10 to 15 per cent of them were children between nine and fifteen,” he added.
Officials said Mr Bhattacharyya had been in a dispute with his workers for two weeks and had faced protests at another estate he owned two years previously.
Several incidents of attacks on tea executives by angry workers have been reported from Assam in recent years.