Massive combing operations underway in Assam

RSTV Bureau
Kokrajhar: Smoke coming out of shops after an attack by NDFB (S) terrorists in the market area at Balajan Tinali near Kokrajhar town in Assam on Friday. PTI Photo

Kokrajhar: Smoke coming out of shops after an attack by NDFB (S) terrorists in the market area at Balajan Tinali near Kokrajhar town in Assam on Friday. PTI Photo

A day after the deadly Kokrajhar attack that killed 14 people, an NIA team scoured the site even as a massive combing operation was underway to nab the militants of Bodo separatist outfit NDFB(S) suspected to be involved in the strike.

The NIA team spoke to eyewitnesses at the site to take stock of what had happened.

On Friday, a group of heavily armed militants got off from a car at the crowded Balajan Tiniali market and opened fire and threw grenades. The security forces managed to gun down one militant but the others fled. Reports said that the militants were dressed in army fatigues.

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who also visited the attack site, told reporters that the militant who was neutralised yesterday has been identified as Manjay Islari.

“He is a self-styled area commander of 16th battalion of NDFB(S) faction. We will give the body to his parents,” he said.

Sarma further noted said that the combing operation in the area was intensified to nab those who had fled.

A Combing operation by police, para-military and army is also on in neighbouring Chirang district to nab the militants.

Defence sources said specialised troops, tracker dogs and other equipment have been pressed into service.

Kokrajhar: People watch the smoke coming out of shops after an attack by NDFB (S) terrorists in the market area at Balajan Tinali near Kokrajhar town in Assam on Friday. PTI Photo

Kokrajhar: People watch the smoke coming out of shops after an attack by NDFB (S) terrorists in the market area at Balajan Tinali near Kokrajhar town in Assam on Friday. PTI Photo

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited the seriously injured at Gauhati Medical College Hospital and inquired about their condition. He spoke to doctors there on providing them advance medical treatment, government sources in Guwahati said.

Kokrajhar Deputy Commissioner held a high level security meeting with the police, army and paramilitary forces to review the situation ahead of Independence Day, administration sources said.

A strict vigil was being maintained along the Assam-Bengal interstate border and international fronts with Bhutan to prevent the NDFB(S) militants from escaping there, the sources revealed.

Assam Director-General of Police Mukesh Sahay had said that the attack was suspected to be the handiwork of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-S). AK-56 and 47 series rifles along with grenades were also recovered from the spot.

The Assam Director General of Police and Additional Chief Secretary T Y Das also held a high level security review meeting with the district administration where it was decided to continue with the security operations.

Meanwhile, opposition Congress leaders, who visited Kokrajhar, accused the ruling BJP government in the state of failing to take preventive measures despite the fact that militants regularly indulge in violent activities in the run up to Independence Day and Republic Day events.

(With inputs from PTI)