North Lakhimpur, Aug 18: A 45-year-old man, who escaped from court two days back and was accused of rape and murder, was lynched by a mob on Thursday in Assam's Lakhimpur district, police said.

Gerjai Barua alias Raju Barua, who the police identified as a dreaded criminal, was hiding near a stream in Kilakili village in Ghilamar police station area when some locals nabbed him during the early hours, a police officer said.

They informed the police, which took some time to reach the area due to inaccessibility. By that time, more villagers gathered and they started thrashing Barua.

When police reached, the man was found to be severely injured, and two police personnel also received injuries while trying to rescue him from the irate mob, the officer said.

"We took him to Dhakuakhana Civil Hospital, where doctors pronounced him brought dead. The two policemen have been sent to North Lakhimpur town for better treatment," he added.

Dozens of cases related to theft, dacoity, murder, rape and other crimes were registered against him in different police stations during the last 15 years, police said.

Barua along with two other accused had fled from the toilet of the Dhakuakhana Judicial Magistrate's Court on Tuesday and police were on lookout to apprehend him again.

Out of the two other criminals, one was arrested on the same day, while the police had launched a manhunt to nab the other.

As soon as the news of Barua's death spread, a large crowd gathered at Dhakuakhana Civil Hospital to witness his body. A huge contingent of police has been deployed to control the crowd and prevent any untoward situation, an official said.

On January 22, he had escaped with handcuffs from the Covid-19 ward of a hospital in North Lakhimpur, but was rearrested after two days. He was also injured in an encounter in September last year.

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Moscow, Dec 4: About 2,500 seals have been found dead on the Caspian Sea coast in southern Russia, officials said Sunday.

Authorities in the Russian province of Dagestan said it was unclear why the mass die-off happened but that it was likely due to natural causes.

Regional officials initially reported Saturday that 700 dead seals were found on the coast, but the Dagestan division of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment later raised the figure to about 2,500.

Zaur Gapizov, head of the Caspian Environmental Protection Center, said in a statement that the seals likely died a couple of weeks ago. He added that there was no sign that they were killed or caught in fishing nets.

Experts of the Federal Fisheries Agency and prosecutors inspected the coastline and collected data for laboratory research, which didn't immediately spot any pollutants.

Several previous incidents of mass seal deaths were attributed to natural causes. Kazakhstan, which has a long Caspian coastline, reported at least three such incidents this year.

Data about the number of seals in the Caspian vary widely. The fisheries agency has said the overall number of Caspian seals is 270,000-300,000, while the Caspian Environmental Protection Center put the number at 70,000.