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Karbi bandh ahead of April 12 polls

Nagaon, April 9: An indefinite bandh called by two Karbi militant outfits has made smooth polling uncertain in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district.

Elections to the Autonomous Council constituency are scheduled for Saturday.

A newly floated militant outfit, Karbi National Liberation Army (KNLA), has called an indefinite bandh since Monday evening. Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers (KPLT) called an indefinite bandh since yesterday morning. Both the outfits called the bandh in support of Hemprep Kanthin (self-rule homeland).

“The indefinite bandh will be withdrawn when candidates promise to place the separate state issue in Parliament if elected,” KPLT general secretary Rang Mijang said.

The impact of the bandh was total in Karbi Anglong but partial in Dima Hasao district.

The Lok Sabha constituency has 1,006 polling stations, of which 54 are hyper-sensitive, 213 very sensitive and 412 sensitive.

Karbi Anglong additional superintendent of police Bolin Deuri said unprecedented security arrangements have been made for free and fair polling in the district.

Seventeen companies of security forces and 400 armed home guards have been deployed in the troubled hill district.

“We have sufficient forces to face any attempt of any faction of the militant groups. A search operation is on and polling personnel have sufficient security cover,” Deuri said.

The first team of personnel for 74 remote polling stations will leave the hill district headquarters tomorrow.

Normal life came to a grinding halt in Karbi Anglong following the bandh call by the two militant outfits. Government, semi-government offices, markets in towns other than the district headquarters remained closed.

Suspected militants carried out two attacks — one in Hauraghat in Diphu subdivision and one in Umpanai in Hamren subdivision.

No one was injured, police said.