February 19, 2018 / 6:17 AM / in a month

Landmine kills poll candidate in troubled district of Indian state

GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - A landmine explosion killed four people, including an election candidate, in India’s northeastern state of Meghalaya in an area where four militant groups are seeking independence, police said on Monday.

The attack happened on Sunday night in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district, about 250 km (150 miles) from the state capital, Shillong.

The candidate for the Nationalist Congress Party from the Williamnagar assembly constituency, Jonathone Sangma, was killed along with his driver and two police.

“The vehicle in which Sangma was traveling bore the maximum impact of the explosion. Everyone in the car died on the spot,” said Ringrang Momin, a senior state police officer.

Police officials said there were four active militant groups in the area demanding secession from India for tens of thousands of Garo tribals living in the state bordering Bangladesh.

“This is the handiwork of the militant groups... We have yet to identify the outfit involved in the landmine explosion,” Momin said.

Elections for the 60-member house in Meghalaya state are scheduled for Feb. 27.

Reporting by Zarir Hussain in Guwahati and Rupam Jain in New Delhi; Editing by Malini Menon and Nick Macfie

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