Election violence: 20 tribal people dead
Police told to shoot on sight
At least 20 tribal Rabha people have been killed in Assam state during protests against a village election after authorities issued orders to police to shoot on sight.
Assam’s chief minister Taurun Gogoi said on Thursday that he would accept responsbility for the bloodshed as curfews continued into a third day in some parts of the town of Goalpara.
Police responded to protests following Tuesday's election by firing directly at demonstrators, killing 13 people. Seven more people were killed when Rabha villagers began fighting with non-Rabha villagers.
Thousands of Rabha armed with iron rods, axes and machetes attacked police and set fire to polling stations following an election they said infringed on tribal authority.
The Rabha have demanded complete autonomy in areas in which they are the majority.
“How can we allow these village elections?” said Tankeswar Rabha, president of the All Rabha Students Union. “We will fight to guarantee the true sense of autonomy for our people.”
The Congress Party-led state government has imposed a curfew in the area following the violence, and deployed soldiers to assist state police in keeping the peace.
The larger Bodo tribal community was previously granted autonomy which gave them limited legislative, executive and judicial control over areas in which they are in the majority in Assam.
Campaign begins to provide much-needed aid to hundreds of El Nino stricken farmers
But it will take time and effort for its food delivery service for the elderly to be fully operational
Pastoral priorities set to train laypeople become more aware about their roles and responsibilities
Family that became Christians 18 years ago was under pressure from local Hindu leaders to give up their faith
Government needs to take action against perpetrators, they say