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Last Updated: Monday, 10 April 2006, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Violence as Assamese cast votes
Campaign rally in Assam
The Congress has been campaigning hard in Assam
One person has been killed and seven injured during voting in a second and final phase for a new assembly in the north-east Indian state of Assam.

The election was held in areas with a history of violence by tribal separatists who once fought for an independent homeland.

Voters were choosing candidates for 61 of the state's 126 assembly seats.

Elections for the other seats took place on 3 April. Results of the polls are due on 11 May.

Nearly 30% of the voters in the Bodo-dominated area in western Assam cast their vote in the first few hours of polling.

Our troops are on high alert
Deepak Pathak
Senior police official

The BBC's Subir Bhaumik, who is in Kokrajhar, says regional development is a key issue here.

The area witnessed a violent campaign by Bodo tribals for an independent homeland between 1987 and 2004.

Since then it has been peaceful after the Bodos were granted an autonomous council.

But police officials say they are taking no chances.

"Our troops are on high alert," senior police official Deepak Pathak told the Reuters news agency.

The poll was split in two halves to ensure sufficient police and soldiers were available to protect election centres.

About 68% of the eligible voters cast their ballots in the earlier round of voting.

Congress test

The country's governing Congress Party is in power in Assam, but correspondents say a regional party and the main opposition BJP are mounting a strong challenge.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh represents Assam in the upper house of India's parliament and has been campaigning hard in the state.

Some 28% of Assam's population is Muslim and have traditionally voted for Congress.

But they are also being wooed by a new party for Muslims, the United Democratic Front (UDF).

Assam is one of five states holding elections in April and May.

Voting will also take place later this month and in the first week of May in West Bengal, Kerala, Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu.


SEE ALSO:
Key poll in India's Assam state
03 Apr 06 |  South Asia
Ruling ally loses key India poll
22 Nov 05 |  South Asia
BJP makes southern Indian debut
03 Feb 06 |  South Asia
India polls produce mixed outcome
28 Feb 05 |  South Asia


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