Three NDFB(S) militants were on Sunday killed in two encounters and two bodies, both belonging to women, were found, taking the toll to 34 in the continuing violence in Assam’s Kokrajhar and Baksa districts.
Police said police and NDFB(S) militants were engaged in an encounter at Baksal village in Udalguri district in which a militant was killed, though two others managed to escape.
IGP L R Bishnoi claimed a major attack had been averted as the militants came to unleash further violence in nearby villages. Police recovered a pistol, a grenade and a mobile phone from the encounter site.
In another encounter, two NDFB(S) militants were killed at Laijanguri under Rangapara police station in Sonitpur district along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border. The two militants were killed in an exchange of fire after four NDFB(S) activists hurled grenades at an Assam Police patrol. Two other militants managed to escape leaving behind two pistols, two magazines and a hand grenade.
Bodies of two women, who were feared drowned while attempting to flee at Durmonighat in Barpeta Road police station area, were also recovered, taking the toll to 34 in clashes in the two districts since Thursday.
Meanwhile, Assam CM Tarun Gogoi on Sunday apprised United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi of the prevailing situation in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) and the measures taken by the state government to restore peace in the area.
The United Progressive Alliance Chairperson had telephoned Gogoi this morning to take stock of the law and order situation in BTAD areas, sources said.
Gogoi also informed Gandhi that there had been no major untoward incident during the last 24 hours. Informing her about the enhanced security in areas vulnerable to violence, Gogoi said the government would soon bring back the situation to normal. The Chief Minister further informed her that the Centre had despatched additional reinforcements to tackle the situation, the sources said.
Even as angry locals in Assam refuse to perform the last rites of their killed family members until Chief Minister Gogoi visits the violence-hit area, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Sunday said the aim of the militants was to turn the violence there into a full-fledged “communal conflagration”.
The Home Minister said that during the last few days, there have been wanton acts of depredation leading to the deaths of 32 persons, mainly women and children. Thirty-one of the total killed belong to a minority community.
Without naming the militant group, Shinde said innocent lives were lost at the hands of militants of certain group.
“The objective of this group is to start a full fledged communal conflagration. It is of relevance that these acts started only after the group began steadily losing its cadres,” Shinde said.