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Police firing during polls in Goalpara district in Assam, ten killed

Guwahati, Feb 13 (): At least ten people were feared killed in a clash between police and tribal groups in Assam, who demanded for an autonomy opposing to local elections in Goalpara,120 kilometres away from Guwahati.

The incident occurred in Goalpara district, when the Rabha tribe, who opposed the panchayati election, attacked the villagers and government officials.

Ten people were shot dead in the clash after police opened fire on the group who made an attempt to set fire on the villagers and even attacked a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan with a knife and also tried to snatch arms from the cops.

Army has been deployed after the district administration made a request to assist them in maintaining law and order in the Goalpara district, where the clash took place. A total of 250 soldiers were deployed and few more will also be positioned if required, said officials of the district administration.

The Rabha tribe who were demanding for autonomy has been disapproving government control with a belief that the panchayats or village councils might weaken their own council’s authority.

Violence has been hitting the area in the past by the tribals who set fire to houses and often blocked roads by cutting down trees. In the last twenty years, a large number of people lost their lives in the violence that created unrest and an atmosphere of panic among the villagers in the district.

Meanwhile, the opposition Asom Gana Parishad on Tuesday blamed the state government for the violence that shot up due to the inability of the ruling government.

The opposition parties said that they had already requested the government to reach an amicable solution before heading towards the panchayat polls by holding talks with the RHJAC, said AGP president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta. He also said that the government did not take notice of  its suggestion and went forward announcing the polls that resulted in violence.