Militants kill local MP, 10 others, in NE India
GUWAHATI, May 21: Eleven people, including a lawmaker and four of his family, were killed in an ambush by tribal separatists in the eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, a senior police official said on Tuesday.
Heavily armed militants fired automatic weapons at the five-vehicle convoy of Tirong Aboh, a member of the legislative assembly for the state seat of Khonsa, in the Tirap district near the border with Myanmar, the police official said.
"We are yet to ascertain the group responsible for the attack," the police official, who declined to be named as he is not authorized to talk to the media, told Reuters.
The area where the ambush took place is very remote, making investigation of the attack difficult, the official said.
"Extremely shocked by unfortunate incident of killing of Khonsa MLA Tirong Aboh along with several others by insurgents," Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu
Attacks on Indian officials by separatist militias have declined in recent years, though dozens of groups still operate in north and eastern areas of the country.
In April, five people including a lawmaker from India's ruling party were killed in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh when Maoist militants detonated a bomb as an entourage traveled back from a campaign appearance.
The attack follows the end of India's general elections on Sunday, as well as
state assembly polls in Arunachal Pradesh -- which borders China and Bhutan.
As in previous years, the general elections have been rocked by violence. On May 1 some 15 troops and their driver were killed by Maoist rebels in the western state of Maharashtra.
Aboh, from the National People's Party (NPP) allied to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party, was travelling from Dibrugarh in Assam to Khonsa when the incident took place.
Militants belonging to the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), one of several separatist groups in the area, are suspected to have carried out the attack after making threats to Aboh.
NPP Chief Conrad Sangma condemned the incident and urged the Indian government to take action against those responsible.
The seven states that make up India's north-east are home to dozens of tribal groups and guerrilla armies demanding greater autonomy or independence from India.
India blamed another NSCN faction for the killing of 20 soldiers in an attack in neighbouring Manipur state in 2015.
New Delhi responded by saying it launched retaliatory strikes against the group in Myanmar, where a significant Naga population lives.
Myanmar's government have launched fresh military offensives against the Naga insurgents despite a ceasefire agreement between the militant group and the powerful army.
Maoist guerrillas are, meanwhile, believed to be present in at least 20 Indian states, but most active in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Maharashtra. -REUTERS