NDFB(S) militants gun down 34 in Assam

A woman injured in the militant attacks receives treatment at a hospital in Kokrajhar district on Tuesday. Photo: PTI

A woman injured in the militant attacks receives treatment at a hospital in Kokrajhar district on Tuesday. Photo: PTI  

Suspected National Democratic Front of Boroland (Songbijit) militants gunned down at least 34 persons in four attacks in Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts of Assam on Tuesday night. A high alert has been sounded in the State and Home Minister Rajnath Singh is rushing there.

The death toll is likely to go up as three more persons were suspected to have been gunned down in another attack in Kokrajhar district.

Inspector-General of Police (Law and Order) S.N. Singh told The Hindu that 30 persons were killed in Sonitpur district and four in Kokrajhar district. Mr. Singh said that all the victims belonged to the Adivasi community.

In Sonitpur district, the militants opened fire in Adivasi villages killing 24 in Biswanath and six in Dhekiajuli. In Kokrajhar district, the militants gunned down four persons in Serfanguri. The police were also trying to ascertain reports of the death of three more persons in Ultapani area in the same district.

The IGP said the NDFB (Songbijit) had attacked the Adivasis, who were soft targets, to avenge the killing of the outfit’s cadres in counter-insurgency operations.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi condemned the attacks as “barbaric” and “horrendous” and asked six Cabinet ministers to rush to the two terror-hit districts, one team of three ministers to each district on Wednesday.

Curfew clamped

PTI reports:

Curfew was clamped on Tuesday night in areas under four police stations in Sonitpur district. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the killing of innocent people as an act of cowardice. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased,” he tweeted.

Mr. Modi said he spoke to Mr. Gogoi and Mr. Rajnath Singh. “Mr. Rajnath will travel to Assam and take stock of the situation,” he said.

Mr. Singh said killing of innocent people for any cause could never be justified.

The Centre is monitoring the situation and paramilitary forces have been rushed to the spot, he tweeted. Mr. Singh said he spoke to Mr. Gogoi who apprised him of the situation. The Centre will provide all assistance to the State, he added.

Manas National Park, a popular tourist spot inhabited by many tribal people, has been closed for three days in the wake of the killings.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 12:31:42 AM |

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