Criminal elements involved in strife

Pointing out that over 100 houses were burnt and roads have been blocked in many areas, security sources also suspected the involvement of criminal elements in to the incident of arsons, selectively carried out in non-Rabha areas of the district.
Most of shops and other establishments were closed with fear of violence looming large even on Wednesday in the area.
The Rabha tribe, which has formed a Joint Action Committee to spearhead their agitation for Rabha-Hasong Autonomous District Council, has been insisting on holding the elections for the district council instead of panchayat. It believes that panchayats or village councils will undermine the authority of their council.
Moreover, Rabha leadership has also been referring to an agreement between the government and the Rabha leaders in 1995 where in state government had assured that the government would not hold panchayat elections in proposed council areas.
However, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi clarified that the agreement in itself was wrong, as pachayati raj system was not effective only in the autonomous district councils formed under the provision of sixth schedule.
Mr Gogoi also clarified that panchayati raj will not over lap the authority of the autonomous district councils, which is an exclusive administrative arrangement for Rabha-Hasongs.
Meanwhile, security forces on Wednesday claimed to have foiled many attempts of arsons in non-Rabha areas of the district since morning.

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