12 dead in Assam poll violence

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 12, 2013 15:43 hrs

At least 12 people died in panchayat poll violence in lower Assam's Goalpara district on Tuesday, said reports.

The Assam government said eight people were killed so far in police firing incidents during the clashes between protesters and security forces.

The clashes broke out after the protesters blocked roads, attacked polling officials, security personnel, polling booths, set ablaze ballot boxes during the third phase of panchayat polls in Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council (RHAC) areas.

According to reports, at least 9 people were killed and 30 others injured in police firing incidents and three others were killed during clashes between tribal groups and non-tribal groups.

Several organizations have called a public curfew in RHAC areas to protest against holding the panchayat polls.

"We have reported that, eight people were killed in police firing incidents," said Assam government Parliamentary Secretary Bhupen Bora.

"The incidents took place at several areas under Dudhnoi and Krishnai police stations, after the protesters attacked polling stations and set ablaze vehicles, ballot boxes and several houses," Bora said.

The firing and group clashes incidents occurred at several areas under Dudhnoi and Krishnai police stations, in which four people were killed in Bekipul area, three each in Kahibari and Dhanubhanga areas, two each in Kachadol and Rakhyasini areas and one people died in Chiluk.

The deceased people were identified as Nikon Rabha, Panchami Rabha, Pradeep Rabha, Helbong Rabha, Barebala Rabha, Aloka Rabha, Bengbeng Rabha, Bichitra Rabha, Tapan Rabha, Ambhu Rabha, Dharanidhar Rabha and Amrit Rabha.

"Thousand protesters came out with sharp weapons and lathis and blocked roads, attacked polling officials, voters, security personnel in several police stations," a district administration official said.

Meanwhile, at least five security personnel, including an army officer and two police officers, were injured attacked by protesters in the district.

The injured people were rushed to the Goalpara civil hospital.

In a separate incident, miscreants set ablaze five security forces vehicles, three primary schools and eight ballot boxes on Tuesday.

Miscreants torched at least 30 houses at Khataripara village under Krishnai police station.

In another incident, miscreants snatched weapons from security personnel at Dudhnoi and Krishnai areas.

26 companies of army and para military forces have been deployed in the arson marked district.

The district administration has imposed indefinite curfew in Krishnai area of the district.

On other hand, the Assam government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for injured people.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the state government will reconstruct the houses, which were torched by miscreants.

Meanwhile, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has blamed the state government for violence in the RHAC areas.

(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)

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