A high alert has been sounded across Assam following Friday’s attack in Kokrajhar district by Bodo militants, which claimed 14 lives and injured 15 others, days ahead of Independence Day celebrations.
While 13 people died on Friday, one of the injured succumbed early on Saturday morning. The condition of another injured is stated to be critical.
The attack carried out by National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Songbijit (NDFB-S) at Balajan Tiniali comes days ahead of Independence Day when militant outfits in the region step up their activities. One of the militants was shot dead by security forces who responded within minutes to the attack.
Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who was in New Delhi when the incident took place, rushed to Guwahati in the evening and held a high-level review meeting with senior police officers and bureaucrats.
Sonowal directed police officials to continue ongoing operations against NDFB-S and nab the two militants who managed to escape after the attack in Kokrajhar. He also appealed to people across the state to remain vigilant and maintain communal peace and harmony.
The chief minister will be visiting Kokrajhar on Saturday to take stock of the situation and meet families of victims.
The incident is the first major militant strike in the state since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government assumed power in May. The government sees Friday’s killings as an attempt to derail peace and development in Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD), ruled by the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) since 2003.
Security has been stepped up in all four districts falling under the Bodoland Territorial Council, Guwahati and at important installations across the state to prevent any further attacks.
Additional companies of the Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Fore (CRPF) and Assam police are conducting joint operations in Kokrajhar.
Hours after the Kokrajhar incident, police recovered two powerful bombs from Dhubri district. Both were later diffused.