Militant attacks in Assam, death toll rises to 53

SansadTV Bureau

assamThe death toll on Wednesday climbed to 53 in the series of attacks by suspected Bodo militants belonging to NDFB-S faction in Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts of Assam while the Centre was rushing additional forces to the state.

30 people were killed in Maitalu bustee and six in Junglee bustee in Sonitpur district when heavily armed militants belonging to the Songbijit faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) attacked the ‘adivasis’ on Tuesday, Sonitpur SP Sanjukta Parashar said.

Five persons were killed in Pakhiriguri and 12 others at Ultapani in the attacks in Kokrajhar district, Kokrajhar Superintendent of Police Sunil Kumar said.

Curfew has been clamped since last night in areas under four police stations in Sonitpur district, Assam Police spokesperson Rajiv Saikia said.

The latest incidents of violence occurred very near to the inter-state border between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Union Minister Rajnath Singh, who will be going to Assam later in the day, said he has been briefed about the situation by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and necessary action will be taken by the Centre.

“I will travel to Assam today and review the situation there. Whatever action is required, we will take,” he told in Delhi.

The Centre is mobilising 50 companies (5000 personnel) of central forces at the request of Assam, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said.

“It is unfortunate that this kind of violence has taken place when we have already sent a message that violence and development cannot go together,” he said.

Gogoi said he has directed senior ministers Nilamani Sen Deka and Basanta Das to go to Kokrajhar district and Rockybul Hussain, Prithbi Majhi and Tanka Bahadur Rai to visit Sonitpur district.

The Chief Minister said the security forces and local authorities have been directed to ensure that the violence does not spread and to prevent any backlash.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had condemned the killing of innocent people as an act of cowardice and also spoke to Gogoi. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased,” he tweeted on Tuesday night.

The Cabinet on Wednesday paid homage to victims of the “cowardly” attacks on ‘adivasis’ in Assam.