Guwahati, July 31: Violent protests broke out in Assam's Karbi Anglong district Wednesday with several hundred people taking to the streets demanding a separate state status for the hill district. At least 10 people were injured in police firing and a curfew was clamped in the area, police said.
Indefinite curfew was clamped in Diphu town where the clashes took place.
Police said the agitators, numbering over 300, locked the office of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) and ransacked the council secretariat. They then attacked the houses of Lok Sabha MP from Diphu Biren Singh Ingty, Diphu legislator Bidya Sing Engleng and Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the council Joyram Engleng.
Protestors also set ablaze some houses and vehicles belonging to politicians and the KAAC, forcing police to baton charge them and use tear gas shells to disperse the mob.
As the mob went berserk, police opened fire, injuring over 10 people, three of them seriously.
More forces are being sent to the district to help contain the situation and control further violence.
Karbi Anglong Superintendent of Police B.B. Chetri said the situation was under control.
Following the incident, Engleng rushed to Guwahati to meet Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
The agitators, who included members of student groups and civil society organisations like the Karbi Students Association (KSA), Karbi Riso Adorba (KRA) and others, have accused the central government of betraying the people of the district by not granting them separate state status.
In another development earlier, banned militant outfit Karbi Peoples' Liberation Tigers (KPLT) urged Lok Sabha MP from Karbi Anglong, Biren Singh Ingty, to take up the issue of statehood during the monsoon session of parliament.
Meanwhile, following the central government's decision on Telangana, several ethnic organisations and groups in Assam are calling bandhs and blockades to intensify their respective demands for statehood.
While All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU) has threatened to launch a mass movement for Bodoland, All Koch Rajbongshi Students' Union (AKRSU) has demanded Kamatapur state for the Koch Rajbongshi community.
The executive council of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) - being run by the Bodoland People's Front - has decided to adopt a resolution to demand the creation of a separate state.
A BTC delegation, led by Assam Tourism Minister Chandan Brahma and executive member Hagrama Mohilary, left for New Delhi Wednesday to meet home department officials to express their views and exert pressure for Bodoland.
ABSU had already decided to agitate for a separate state. "We are going to hold a 12-hour rail blockade Aug 2. We have also called a 60-hour Assam bandh from Aug 5," said an ABSU leader.
AKRSU has called for a two-day Assam bandh from Aug 1 to intensify its long-standing demand for a separate state. "We will hold a fast-unto-death programme from Aug 15 if the central government ignores the Koch Rajbongshi community," said president Biswajit Rai.