Dulal: Eight people died after police opened fire on a violent mob during the village council (Panchayat) elections in Goalpara district of Assam on Tuesday.
The eight dead persons hailed from different areas of the district Dhupdhara, Krishnai and Rangjuli, which saw violent clashes between the mob and police during the third phase pf the elections.
Indefinite curfew was imposed in several areas in the district after the violence.
According to eyewitnesses, police took the first offensive in violence to prevent the ransacking of the polling booths by the irate mob.
"The police arrived and started baton charging and stone pelting on the people who had gathered here. They also indulged in blank firing from their guns. When the people also retaliated with violence, there occurred some violence between both the sides," said Dulal, a local.
Tension gripped the entire Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council (RHAC) areas in Goalpara district since Monday, ahead of the polls, which were scheduled for Tuesday.
Sporadic violence swept across the area and locals blocked the roads, which lead to polling booths set up by the provincial government.
Thousands of people have been protesting on the streets since Monday, in order to stop the officials in Goalpara and parts of Kamrup district from carrying out polling preps.
The Rabhas have been demanding that the election to the autonomous council RHAC must be held first.
The state government, however, decided to hold the polls in the entire state citing constitutional obligations.