12 killed in Assam poll violence

Twelve people have been were killed in police firings and violence during panchayat elections in India’s northeastern state of Assam.

The victims include two women.

An indefinite curfew has been imposed on the Krishnai police station area in Goalpara district on Assam’s borders with Bangladesh.

Assam’s principal secretary (Home) G D Tripathy said that as polling started on Tuesday morning for the third phase of the panchayat elections , large groups of people attacked various voting centres in the district forcing the police to resort to firing to quell the mob.

A mob of 400 men and women armed with iron rods, axes, machetes and sticks attacked a polling station at Kathalmari school at Kahibari under Dhupdhora police station, police said.

Police fired in retaliation killing two men and a woman on the spot there.

In similar incidents three persons were killed at Palsar, and one each at Kachuela and Silopathar, the police said.

Goalpara has been witnessing violence as the panchayat poll is being opposed in the Rabha Hasong Autonomous District Council (RHADC) areas.

Krishnai police station officer-in-charge Hatem Ali and two police personnel were injured at Bekibul by the protestors who also attacked polling personnel during the day.

Following the violence, army was deployed in Krishnai police station area where indefinite curfew is on along the National Highway where there is no polling, Tripathy said.

Several other people were also injured in poll-related clashes in different parts of the district where five vehicles, including two each of police and polling personnel and a media house, were set ablaze, the police added.

The protestors also attacked polling personnel, Ali said. At Rakkhaysin polling station, some persons tried to throw petrol bombs but the voters there severely beat them up.

Arson was also reported from Kamrup (Rural) district during the final phase of panchayat polls.

In neighbouring Kamrup (Rural) district, groups of armed men and women in the RHADC areas attacked police stations and polling personnel, the police said.

Some persons also attacked polling personnel and Boko Dekapara police station besides setting ablaze their vehicles driving away the polling personnel, the police said.

Lalmati lower primary school, where a voting centre was set up, was torched gutting eight ballot boxes, the police said.

Anti-socials also destroyed several ballot papers there.The ballot papers at Dorapar polling centre at Agia were also set on fire, the police said. Disturbances were also reported at Khulakhati area of Hajo, Sambhar and Tokorapar lower primary schools voting centres in the RHADC areas following faulty ballot papers, the police said.

Additional security forces had been deployed in the RHADC areas falling in the two districts to maintain law and order.bdnews24.com

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