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Assam: Seven dead after terrorists attack Diwali party
November 4, 2013, 10:26 am

At least seven people were killed and nine  injured when suspected cadres of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) fired indiscriminately at some people at a remote village in Assam’s Goalpara district on Sunday night, police said.

The incident took place at a remote village called Gendabari, located on the Assam-Meghalaya border. According to police, all the victims had been playing cards as part of Diwali celebrations. “A group of eight armed men came in army fatigue and started indiscriminate firing on the people. Six persons died on the spot, while ten were injured,” police said quoting witnesses.

All the injured were shifted to the Goalpara civil hospital. Later, some of the seriously injured were referred to the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital, police said. “We are yet to ascertain the reasons behind the attack. An operation has been launched to nab the militants.

The militants were armed with automatic weapons and we suspect the hands of Meghalaya-based GNLA militants behind the incident. However, we could confirm this only after completion of the investigation,” police said.

There has been tension brewing in the area since last month, particularly due to the proposed election to the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council (RHAC). While the Rabhas are happy after the Assam government announced that the three-phased polls to the RHAC would be held on 13, 16 and 25 November,  other communities living in the areas, including the Garos, the religious minority people and Khasis have been opposing the polls, until the government excludes non-Rabha community dominated villages from the RHAC.

While there are about 779 villages under the RHAC, including areas under Goalpara district and southern part of Kamrup district, non-Rabha communities claim that the Rabhas are a minority in at least 382 villages and hence these villages should be excluded from the list of RHAC.

The army has now been called in to the area, which is close to the Meghalaya border and has been tense for weeks over a conflict between two groups of tribals – the Rabhas and Garos, said NDTV.

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