MASSACRE IN ASSAM: BODO MILITANTS KILL OVER 62 ADIVASIS
Assam Carnage; Courtesy-Aljazeera
NEW DELHI: Bodo militants killed at least 62--still counting---Adivasis in Assam.
The Bodo militants, belonging to the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-S) mowed down the Adivasis in the Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts of Assam.
While thirty -six people, including women and children were mercilessly gunned down in Sonitpur district alone, seventeen were killed in Kokrajhar district.
Victims from Sonitpur district included thirty people from Moitulabasti in Biswanath Chariali near Assam-Arunachal border and six from Dhekiajuli, central Assam, Sonitpur SP Sanjukta Parashar informed.
On the other hand, five persons were killed in Pakhiriguri and 12 others at Ultapani in the attacks in Kokrajhar district, Kokrajhar Superintendent of Police Sunil Kumar said.
Additionally, several others have been seriously injured, informed the police.
The death toll is rising as the condition of several of the injured are serious and several are still missing. Many escaped to nearby jungles, and there was no information immediately about their safety.
Curfew has been clamped since last night in the four areas of Sonitpur district - Rangapara, Thelamara, Dhekiajuli and Biswanath Chariali.The Army has been called in.
Also, the popular tourist spot Manas National Park has been closed for three days ."We have shut Manas National Park for three days. There are lots of indigenous people staying near the park," Baksa deputy commissioner Vinod Seshan said.
The police informed that in all the cases, innocent people, mostly tribals were killed in indiscriminate firing by the militants who were heavily armed carrying sophisticated weapons.
It may be mentioned here that the rebel group NDFB and its faction is opposed to holding any peace talks and has been suffering anti-insurgency operations in recent times. In fact, on Sunday itself two militants were killed when police and security forces demolished a camp of the outfit in Chirang district.
As a response, the NDFB has been launching attacks since yesterday when they lobbed grenades at six places in Kokrajhar district. However, two grenades failed to explode while several persons were injured in the other blasts. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has strongly condemned this massacre of killing of innocent people terming it ‘dastardly and barbaric’ . However, he maintained that the government would continue with its anti-militant drive. The state government has failed constantly to check the violence and protect the people despite the threats, and the simmering tension between communities in the districts of Bodoland.
In an after violence reaction Gogoi deputed two ministerial teams to visit the affected areas. While ministers Rockybul Hussain, Prithvi Majhi and Tankabahadur Rai have been asked to immediately rush to affected areas in Sonitpur district,ministers Nilomoni Sen Deka and Basanta Das, Parliamentary secretary (Home) Etwa Munda are sent to violence-hit areas in Kokrajhar district.
Para-military forces have also been deployed in the state with additional 500 paramilitary personnel being rushed today by Union Home Ministry to Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts of Assam.
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 yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet today paid homage to victims of the "cowardly" attacks on 'adivasis' in Assam.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh will be travelling to Assam later today. “I will travel to Assam today and review the situation there. Whatever action is required, we will take," he told reporters in Delhi.
It is pertinent to mention here that only a week before, Assam Director-General of Police Khagen Sarma had said that Ulfa and NDFB(S) rebels were planning attacks in the state between Christmas and Republic Day.