Curfew relaxed in Goalpara; toll reaches eight

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Guwahati, Jan 4 (UNI) The indefinite curfew in Lakhipur area in Assam's Goalpara district was relaxed for two hours today after no fresh incidents were reported since the twin instances of police firing on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the toll in Wednesday's firing rose to eight with another person succumbing in the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital today.

Goalpara Superintendent of Police Abhijit Borah said as the situation was under control, the authorities decided to relax the curfew between 1400 hours to 1600 hrs today.

Army continued to be present in the district and strict surveillance was being maintained.

On the persons reportedly missing, as claimed by the Non-Rabha Coordination Committee, Mr Borah said the police was yet to receive any list of missing persons from any quarter and would investigate if the police was approached.

''People may have been stranded due to the curfew and could return today after the curfew was relaxed,'' he added.

The state government had already ordered a judicial probe into the incident and also announced Rs three lakh in compensation to the next of the kin of the deceased, besides monetary aid to the injured.

The panchayat election, scheduled to be held today in the district, was also postponed following the violence.

Police had opened fire on supporters of the Non-Rabha Coordiantion Committee twice within a few hours in Lakhipur area on Wednesday when the latter had attacked and burnt down vehicles and also tried to attack the Lakhipur police station.

They were protesting the postponement of panchayat polls in the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council areas, which also have a sizeable non-Rabha population.

UNI SG KK SHB AS1715

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