Assam violence toll 19, Army stages flag march


Army staged a flag march today in areas hit by violence in Assam's Goalpara district and shoot-at-sight orders issued even as Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said he would recommend a CBI inquiry into the violence in which the toll rose to 19.

"The toll in the violence in Goalpara district stands at 19. 12 persons died in police firing, one was killed in arson and looting and six others in clashes," Gogoi told reporters in Guwahati, as indefinite curfew continued in Krishnai and Mornoi areas after violence broke out during panchayat elections yesterday.

Gogoi said the state government would ask for a CBI investigation and a judicial inquiry would look into lapses and shortcomings on the part of the administration.

"The CBI has investigating powers and it will look into issues like finding the culprits, while the judicial inquiry will cover shortcomings and lapses," he said.

"Now the situation is under control. Police and security force deployment have been strengthened, curfew has been put in place in two areas (Krishnai and Mornoi), Army has been deployed and shoot-at-sight orders have been given," Gogoi said.

He said around 70 others, including 30 police and CRPF personnel, were injured in the violence which broke out in Goalpara and parts of Kamrup Rural districts after mobsopposed to the holding of panchayat polls in the Rabha Hasong Autonomous District Council areas attacked polling booths during the panchayat elections yesterday.

"Around a hundred houses have been burned," Gogoi said."The last incident of violence took place at around 11:30 pm last night. Since then, there has been no fresh incident, but we are maintaining a constant vigil as there is rumour-mongering and miscreants are trying to create disturbances," the chief minister said.

Defence sources said the army was conducting A flag march and working in close coordination with the state government with additional columns kept on standby.Miscreants fired injuring seven persons, including four seriously in Gobindapur Sala area under Goalpara police station area last night where ten houses were set ablaze while another five were torched at Rangagora and 20 at Paharsinghpara under Mornoi police station, police sourcessaid in Goalpara.

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