Poll observers ambushed

Nagaon, April 9 : Suspected DHD (Jewel Gorlosa) militants today ambushed a convoy of central elections observers in North Cachar Hills district but nobody was injured in the attack.
Elections for the Diphu seat will be held on April 16.
The attack at Gunjung, about 45km from the district headquarters town Haflong, is the third ever since the poll process got under way with Ulfa triggering a blast close to the election venue of external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee on March 31 and a string of explosions across the state on Monday on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit.
Sources said Ulfa was likely to step up its disruptive activities targeting the elections in the coming days.
The observer, Arun Chanda Singh, an IAS officer from Bihar, was travelling to Umranghsu when his convoy was ambushed. Security personnel escorting him fired back. The encounter lasted for nearly 15 minutes after which the militants fled.
Police said the official was in a bulletproof car and accompanied by inspector of schools, Phanindra Jidung. There are three observers for the Diphu seat which covers North Cachar Hills and adjoining Karbi Anglong district where another militant outfit, the Karbi Longri North Cachar Liberation Front (KLNLF), has imposed a 36-hour bandh.
“The militants attacked the fifth vehicle while Singh was in the second. Security forces retaliated as soon as the rebels started firing from sophisticated weapons,” a police source said. An IED planted at the site was later recovered by the team after the militants left the spot. A high-level team of NC Hills administration, led by deputy commissioner S. Jagannathan, superintendent of police Mridulananda Sarma and officials of the Assam Rifles reached the spot just after the incident.
The observer cancelled his scheduled visit and returned to the district headquarters. “Investigation is on to find out which group was involved in the attack,” Jagannathan said.
This is the second strike in the constituency since last night. Around 9.30pm, suspected KLNLF rebels attacked a police patrol jeep in which a constable was seriously injured. 
According to Diphu police, militants targeted the Maruti Gypsy at Tissomgaon under Manja police station. The rebels exploded an IED on the road and then fired on the vehicle from sophisticated weapons. These incidents occurred just two days after a high-level meeting of Karbi Anglong police in which DGP G.M. Srivastava took part to review the law and order scenario.
Srivastava said in Guwahati today that parking of vehicles within a 50-metre radius of election offices of political parties has been banned across the state, indicating that the police were not taking any chances in view of increased militant activities in the run-up the elections.