Twelve killed in police firing during Assam panchayat polls

Twelve killed in police firing during Assam panchayat polls

Twelve people were killed in police firing and seven CRPF personnel and policemen injured as violence marred the final phase of the panchayat elections in Assam on Tuesday which registered a 75 per cent turnout.

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Principal Secretary Home G D Tripathy said that large groups of people attacked polling centres forcing police to open fire.

Following the violence, Army was deployed in Krishnai police station area and indefinite curfew was imposed, he said.

This district witnessed the worst violence as 11 people, including three women, were killed in firing in Kahiribari, Kasadhal, Chilukut, Rakshishini and Bekipul areas.

The other fatality took place at Neelambazar in Karimganj district also in police firing, while violence was witnessed in Cachar and Hailakandi districts, officials said.

Police resorted to firing in Goalpara district when those in Rabha Hasong Autonomous District Council areas opposed to the holding of the panchayat elections ahead of the Autonomous Council polls attacked polling centres, sources said.

The polling percentage in Goalpara district was 60 per cent and the three districts of Barak Valley — Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj was nearly 80 per cent. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi announced Rs 5 lakh for the next of kin of those killed in the police firing. He said nobody can stop polling as it was a democratic process.

Four CRPF personnel and three policemen personnel, including Hatem Ali, the officer-in-charge of Krishnai police station were seriously injured in the violence, the sources said.

Several other people were 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 on fire, the sources said.

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