Guwahati : Two ruling Congress party leaders were killed and another kidnapped by tribal separatists in Assam during campaigning for council elections, officials said Tuesday.
A police spokesman said heavily armed militants of the outlawed Dima Halam Daoga (DHD) Monday shot dead Purnendu Langthasa, the chief executive member of the North Cachar Hills District Autonomous Council, and another executive member Nindu Langthasa, near village Langlai Hasnu, about 320 km south of Assam's main city of Guwahati.
"The militants rained bullets on the duo from close range killing both of them on the spot," B.B. Chetri, police chief of North Cachar Hills district told IANS.
The two were seeking re-election to the Autonomous Council on Congress tickets. The polls were due June 12.
"It was believed the duo went to meet the rebels who had earlier summoned them for some discussions. Probably it was a trap," another senior police official, who wished not to be identified, said.
Another Congress leader and deputy chairman of the Council was kidnapped at a gunpoint from the Maibong area in the same district.
"The whereabouts of the abducted person are still not known," said Anil Baruah, district magistrate North Cachar Hills.
The attacks were being carried out by the Jewel Gorlosa faction of the DHD – a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland for the Dimasa tribe in the region.
A splinter faction of the DHD is currently on a ceasefire agreement with New Delhi and is holding peace talks.