Zee Media Bureau
Goalpara: Seven people were killed and many others seriously injured when militants fired on a group of people who were gambling on the occasion of Diwali in Assam`s Goalpara district on Sunday night.
Indefinite night curfew has been clamped along the Assam-Meghalaya border in the district and army and police are patrolling the troubled Gendamari area.
The heavily armed insurgents, suspected to be a part of Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), swooped on the group of gamblers at remote Gendamari in Aagia police station at around 9pm on Sunday.
The random fire from automatic weapons claimed the lives of seven people, which included Bholanath Rabha, Amarendra Rabha, Jayanta Rabha, Puran Rabha, Kalpanath Rabha and Lulu Rabha, who died on the spot.
Another person reportedly succumbed to injuries on Monday morning.
The injured were rushed to Goalpara Civil Hospital by the local people who alleged that the police came late at the site of the firing.
Security was beefed up in the district following the incident.
Goalpara district has been witnessing violence since October 20 with protests against the upcoming Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council elections between November 13 and 25 demanding exclusion of non Rabha areas from the Council.
The sources, however, ruled out that tonight`s incident was connected with the Council elections.
Proscribed GNLA, based in the jungles of Garo Hills district of Meghalaya near Goalpara district, has been fighting for a separate state since 2009.
They attack security forces and civilians, trigger blasts and kidnap people to extort money.
Indefinite night curfew clamped
Indefinite night curfew has been clamped from 7 PM to 6 AM within two km inside Assam from the Assam-Meghalaya border to prevent untoward incidents, district Deputy Commissioner Pritam Saikia told.
National Highway 62 between Damra in Assam and Dalu in Meghalaya as well as NH 51 between Paikan here and Dalu along with Khargang-Resubelpara road were exempted from the purview of the curfew, Saikia said.
Army along with police was patrolling the violence-hit area to prevent further eruption of trouble, he said.
Meanwhile, government has announced an ex-gratia grant of Rs six lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and free medical treatment for the injured.