Arson in lower Assam on eve of panchayat polls
Rangia: Incidents of arson were reported in the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council areas of Kamrup (Rural) district in lower Assam on the eve of Panchayat polls in the area on Tuesday.
Three schools where polling booths have been set up were torched along with two trucks and market sheds by unidentified miscreants in different parts of the district, official sources said.
Early this morning in Boko police station area, three schools - Hatipar, Machenokhuwa and Sekhapari lower primary schools - were completely gutted, they said.
A truck was also set ablaze at Khorkhori under Chaygaon police station this morning, while another was torched at Bondapara under Boko police station around midnight.
Four sheds in Chingra Bazar under Chaygaon police station were also burnt down, they said.
In the last one week when the Rabha Hasong Joint Action Committee opposed the holding of panchayat polls in the Council areas, the sources said 24 schools and bridges were set on fire by miscreants.
With tension prevailing in the area, they said the district administration has deployed adequate security forces, including paramilitary and police.
The polling personnel were taken to their election booths under heavy security cover, they added.
Meanwhile, the Joint Action Committee has called a `janata curfew` from 7 AM today till 7 PM tomorrow opposing the hustings. People remained indoors, shops and markets kept their shutters down, offices, educational institutions and banks were closed, while vehicles went off the roads, the sources said.
The RHJAC representing the Rabha ethnic community have resorted to widespread protests in the district opposing the holding of panchayat elections in the RHAC areas.
They were seeking complete withdrawal of panchayat election from villages within the RHAC and instead hold the Council polls before the Panchayat hustings.
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