How and why the Kokrajhar attack in Assam took place | india-news | Hindustan Times
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How and why the Kokrajhar attack in Assam took place

Police say the breakaway faction of NDFB had lost several cadres in recent weeks in counter operations by security forces and the money collection drive had got affected.

india Updated: Aug 05, 2016 20:32 IST
Utpal Parashar
Indian Army scrutinizing the bags with metal detector recovered from the NDFB (S) terrorists who launched open indiscriminate firing in the market area at Balajan Tinali near Kokrajhar town on Friday.
Indian Army scrutinizing the bags with metal detector recovered from the NDFB (S) terrorists who launched open indiscriminate firing in the market area at Balajan Tinali near Kokrajhar town on Friday. (PTI)

Friday’s militant attack at Assam’s Kokrajhar could have been a desperate attempt by Nationalist Democratic Front of Bodoland-Songbijit faction to stay relevant and increase extortion activities.

Police say the breakaway faction of NDFB had lost several cadres in recent weeks in counter operations by security forces and the money collection drive had got affected.

“Three NDFB-S militants were involved in the attack. Two of them, who were wearing black raincoats, took an auto rickshaw, which had other passengers, to reach the attack site,” LR Bishnoi, ADGP, Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD) told journalists.

Once they reached Balajan Tiniali they got down from the vehicle and started firing indiscriminately at the crowd gathered in the weekly market. One of them also lobbed a hand grenade.

Security forces present in the town were able to reach the spot within minutes and started firing at the militants. One of them succumbed in the counter attack, while the two others managed to escape.

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Smoke rises from the site of a militant attack at Balajan Tinali in Kokrajhar. (AFP)

Besides an AK56 assault rifle, a Chinese made hand grenade, 49 rounds of live ammunition, the police recovered a mobile phone and two SIM cards from the dead militant’s possession.

Call details of the SIM card established that the slain militant was a NDFB-S cadre and was in constant touch with senior members of the outfit.

“The call details of the SIM cards confirm that the militants involved in Friday’s attack belonged to NDFB-S,” said Bishnoi.

Five NDFB-S cadres had been killed in two separate operations by security forces in July and four other cadres of the outfit had been nabbed earlier this month from the district.

On Thursday, Assam Police, army and CRPF had launched a large-scale operation against the outfit in the jungles of Indo-Bhutan border.

“Friday’s attack could be an attempt to divert attention from that operation and also to revive extortion drive affected after cadres involved in extorting money were killed by security forces,” he added.

Bishnoi assured that the police have details of the two escaped militants and they will be nabbed soon. Additional companies of army and Assam Police personnel have been deployed to comb the area.

Police have appealed to people across the state to remain vigilant and inform local agencies if they notice anything suspicious in their areas.