Neeraj Das alias 'Kola Lora', the prime accused in the AASU leader lynching case, died on Wednesday after being hit by a police vehicle "as he was trying to escape police custody", a senior officer said.
A total 13 people, including Das, were arrested in the last two days in connection with the lynching of All Assam Students' Union leader Animesh Bhuyan.
"During interrogation, Das had revealed that a big drug consignment was coming... A police team, in its bid to intercept the consignment, was on the way to Mariani along with Das around 2 am. In between, there is a lonely stretch on the Chinamora-Mariani road where Das tried to escape by jumping off the vehicle.
"The police vehicle, which was moving at a high speed, hit the accused accidentally as he was trying to flee. The driver of the vehicle then lost control of the vehicle and rammed into a wall, and was damaged," Jorhat Superintendent of Police Ankur Jain told PTI.
Das along with the injured police personnel were taken to hospital.
"Doctors at Jorhat Medical College and Hospital declared Das 'brought dead'. Three police personnel have sustained injuries in the accident," Jain said.
The SP had on Tuesday said that Das was a drug peddler, who was earlier arrested in one such case but later released on bail. Dozens of other cases have also been filed against him in the past.
Taking to Twitter, Special DGP (Law and Order) G P Singh said around 2.29 am, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction - Newton's Third Law."
As the news of the death of the prime accused spread, people came out on the road at several places in Jorhat city, a major educational hub in Upper Assam, and burst crackers in jubilation.
Out of the 13 accused in the lynching case, 12 were produced before court on Tuesday.
They were manhandled by angry people in the court complex, but none was injured.
Seven were remanded in police custody for five days and the remaining five in judicial custody.
The main culprit, Das, was not produced before the court as he was arrested on Tuesday morning. The police were supposed to present him in court on Wednesday.
Bhuyan was beaten to death by a group of people following a heated argument over an accident in Jorhat city on Monday. An elderly man fell down from a scooter next to Bhuyan's four-wheeler but some people claimed that the AASU leader hit his two-wheeler.
He and his two friends had got down from the vehicle to help the elderly person.
Das and some others, who were nearby, rushed to the spot and attacked Bhuyan and his friends, accusing them of causing the accident.
The lynching took place in front of scores of onlookers, who filmed the incident on mobile phones.
Bhuyan was the education secretary of Brahmaputra Regional Committee of AASU's Golaghat district unit.
One of his two companions who were injured in the melee, is local reporter Mridusmanta Baruah and the other Pranay Dutta, both AASU members.