Three jawans of the paramilitary Central Reserve police Force (CRPF) were killed and four others injured in an ambush by tribal militants in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district on Saturday.
Heavily armed militants of the Karbi People Liberation Tiger (KPLT) attacked a three-vehicle convoy of the CRPF that was returning to its base camp at Deithar, around 230 km from the state capital Guwahati.
The convoy was returning after visiting a polling station in the upper Rangchali area, the police said. All the troopers belonged to G-36 battalion of the paramilitary force.
“The last of the three vehicles bore the brunt of the attack,” the police officer said.
“Troopers in the first two vehicles retaliated and the encounter is still on although we are not sure about any casualties on the KPLT side,” the police added.
The paramilitary force personnel also retaliated but the rebels escaped into the thick jungles, sources said. Eleven rounds of empty cartridges of light machine guns (LMG) and self-loading rifles (SLR) were recovered from the spot.
While three of the injured were admitted to Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) Hospital in neighbouring Golaghat district, one critically injured was sent to Gauhati Medical College Hospital.
Since its inception in February, the militant outfit, which comprises members of the Karbi tribe, has been allegedly running an extortion drive in the entire Karbi Anglong district.
The outfit is demanding more autonomy for Karbi tribals in the region. The KPLT had called for an indefinite strike in Karbi Anglong on March 20, and had withdrawn it on Friday evening.
The assembly elections-bound Assam would see the first phase of polling on April 4.