Guwahati: Blaming the state government for violence in the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council (RHAC) areas of Assam, opposition Asom Gana Parishad on Tuesday said the situation had escalated due to "high-handedness" of the ruling Congress party. "The opposition parties, including the AGP, had asked the state government to hold talks and reach an understanding with the Rabha Hasong Joint Action Committee (RHJAC) before going for the panchayat polls in the RHAC areas," AGP president and former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said.
"However, the government did not heed to the suggestions made by the opposition and went ahead with the announcement of the polls. This has led to current conflagration," he added. The AGP leader said the state government has failed to control the violence.
"It looks like a repetition of 1983," Mahanta said, referring to the infamous Assembly elections during the Assam agitation when over 1300 people were killed in communal and ethnic violence. "This is a conspiracy of the Congress party. They wanted to win the seats in the Rabha Hasong areas and so went ahead with the panchayat polls, despite being aware that the Rabha community people are opposed to the elections," he said.
At least eight persons, including a woman, were killed in police firing in Assam's trouble-torn Goalpara district during the third phase polling of the panchayat polls. The RHJAC is opposed to the holding of panchayat polls in the RHAC areas, which covers parts of Goalpara and Kamrup rural districts of Assam.