If you cannot get the armed forces, identify civilians as an informer and kill them to make a subversive statement. This appears to have become the policy of rebels in the northeast.
Militants of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit) on Wednesday evening shot Priya Basumatary, 16, point blank in front of the inhabitants of Dwimuguri village in western Assam's Chirang district.
Basumatary, a high school student, was 'punished' for being a police informer. The militants believed her inputs helped a combined team of army, paramilitary and police personnel to kill five of its cadres near the village earlier in the day.
"From what we have gathered, the militants picked the girl randomly and killed her to scare local people and keep them subdued," a district police officer said.
The shooting of Basumatary is reminiscent of that of Jospin M Sangma, a mother of four, by the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) in a village near Chokpot in Meghalaya. Members of the outfit emptied their AK-47 from close range to split her head in half.
The GNLA had accused Sangma of passing information about its activities to the police, leading to encounter deaths and capture of some of its leaders.
According to LR Bishnoi, inspector general of police in Bodoland Autonomous Territorial District, the NDFB(S) has been on a terror mission for quite some time now. "The militants have been using remote wooded areas as safe havens," he said, adding the armed forces have stepped up operations against them.
The outfit has, however, accused the Ranjan Daimary faction of NDFB - it is on ceasefire mode - of using the armed forces to eliminate its members.