Suspected members of the outlawed Ulfa faction which is vehemently opposed to peace talks killed a man and his daughter along with injuring three others in an attack specifically targeting Hindi-speaking people in Tinsukia district of Assam.
Motorcycle-borne militants fired indiscriminately at a family in Filobari- Bijuliban area under the jurisdiction of Pengery police station on Tuesday evening. A man named Nandlal Shah and his daughter Kajal Shah were killed and three others of their family seriously injured.
The Pengery area of Tinsukia district witnessed the massacre of Bihari migrant workers in 2007.
This was the first attack on Hindi-speaking people in the district in eight years.“We have started an investigation into the incident. We are yet to ascertain who is behind the incident. We have deployed security men in vulnerable areas,” said Arnab Deka , superintendent of police of Tinsukia district.
Soon after the incident, security forces launched an operation against militants in areas of Sivasagar district along the Assam-Nagaland boundary. One Ulfa-Independent cadre was arrested from Balijan Grant area.
The arrested militants had recently sneaked into Sivasagar from the group’s camp along the border with Myanmar. Two grenades were found in his possession. Police said they suspect the arrested man was a member of an advance militant team and a larger team is waiting for an opportunity to enter Sivasagar.
Giving details of the attack, police said four armed youngsters riding two motorcycles arrived at Nandalal Shah’s house at 8.45 pm on Tuesday and introduced themselves as police commandos. They asked Shah about the total number of people present in his house and then started firing indiscriminately.
Shah died instantly and four others were injured. His daughter, Kajal Shah, 14, succumbed to her injuries while being taken to Assam Medical College Hospital in Dibrugarh. Shah’s wife Manki Devi, son Manoj Shah and another relative are battling for life at the hospital.
The dead man owned a small shop while his brother had started a new business in the area. Shah’s brother recently received an extortion demand from Ulfa-Independent but the family refused to pay up.
The family did not inform police about the extortion demand, officials said.The All Assam Bhojpuri Yuva Chatra Parisad (AABYCP) called a shutdown in Tinsukia on Wednesday to protest against the attack.
The bandh affected areas with large numbers of Hindi-speaking people. Thousands of people came out on the streets and demanded security. Protesters blocked National Highways 37 and 52 in the district.