BJP leader killed, AGP MLA attacked
A BJP leader has been killed while a legislator of the main opposition AGP survived an assassination attempt in two different guerrilla attacks in Assam.india Updated: Dec 14, 2007 11:28 IST
A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader was killed while a legislator of the main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) survived an assassination attempt in two different guerrilla attacks in Assam, officials said on Friday.
A police spokesman said BJP leader Munindra Sigh Lahkar was shot dead late on Thursday by two gunmen at his residence in Rangiya town, about 70 km west of Guwahati.
"Two unidentified gunmen barged into his residence and shot him from close range," a police official said.
Lahkar was an active leader of the BJP's Rangiya unit.
Police are tight-lipped about the incident, but suspect militants of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) of killing the BJP leader.
In another incident past midnight, heavily armed militants attacked the car of AGP legislator Padma Hazaria near his constituency of Sootea in northern Sonitpur district.
"The legislator received bullet injuries on his thighs and is stated to be out of danger. The militants later set ablaze the vehicle with Hazarika managing to escape under the cover of darkness. We are trying to find out who is behind the attack," the official said.
The attacks on two politicians come just ahead of the local Panchayat elections in Assam scheduled to begin from Dec 31.
"We have reports of militants trying to target politicians in the run up to the Panchayat polls," an intelligence official said.
On Thursday, five people were killed and four injured in a powerful explosion on the Rajdhani Express in Golaghat district.
The Adivasi National Liberation Army (ANLA), a rag-tag rebel group fighting for scheduled tribe status for the Adivasis, one among many communities of tea plantation workers, has claimed responsibility for the blast.