Curfew continues, panchayat polls postponed in Goalpara

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Guwahati, Jan 3 (UNI) Indefinite curfew continued in the Lakhipur area in Goalpara district since last evening after seven people were killed in two incidents of police firing yesterday.

Goalpara Superintendent of Police Abhijit Borah said the situation in the troubled areas was under control.

''Curfew is on in Lakhipur area. No fresh incident of violence has taken place since last evening and we are monitoring the situation,'' he added.

Meanwhile, the panchayat election, which led to yesterday's incident, was postponed in the entire Goalpara district.

State Election Commission sources said the new date for holding of the polls would be fixed after reviewing the situation with the district deputy commissioner and other officials.

Revenue Minister Bhumidhar Barman visited the district today and took stock of the situation. Senior police officials, including the IGP (Law and Order) and the DGP, were already camping in the district.

At least seven people were killed in two instances of police firing in Lakhipur area when hundreds of people had gathered to enforce a 48-hour road blockade, which commenced yesterday.

Four persons were killed in the first incident of firing at noon while another three were killed in the second instance near the same spot later in the afternoon.

Several people, including police personnel, were injured in the mob frenzy that preceded the firing incidents.

Several police and private vehicles were also burnt by the agitators.

Trouble had erupted when supporters of the Anarabha Samanay Raksha Manch, Goalpara, (Non-Rabha coordination committee) sponsored road blockade burnt down three police vehicles and a bus ferrying Panchayat poll personnel in the district.

The committee had called the blockade to protest the postponement of Panchayat polls in the Rabha-Hasong autonomous council areas, which also has a sizeable non-Rabha population.

The polls in these areas were scheduled for the second phase on January 4.

UNI SG PL MS HS1634

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