Guwahati, May 2 ;
At least 11 people were killed by suspected Bodo militants since Thursday night in two Bodo-majority districts of Assam, officials said. Six more bodies were found Friday and reports of militants torching houses prompted the state government to deploy the army in the violence-hit areas.
While four people were killed by armed men from the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) faction opposed to peace talks in Baksa districts of the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) late Thursday, another seven people were killed by militants in Kokrajhar district around 12.30 a.m. Friday.
On Friday evening, police recovered six bullet-riddled bodies from a different village in Baksa district, officials said.
There were also reports that militants torched houses in some areas of Baksa district.
“Armed cadres belonging to the anti-talk faction of NDFB barged into two houses and fired indiscriminately, killing three people, including two women,” said Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) A.P. Raut, referring to the first incident.
Two minor girls were also seriously injured in the firing in Baksa district, and one of them succumbed to her injuries at a hospital, he said.
“The second incident took place in Balapara Tulsibeel village in Kokrajhar district around 12.30 a.m. today (Friday) where suspected NDFB militants fired indiscriminately and killed six people, including two children, and injured three others,” Raut said.
The three injured were taken to a hospital where one of them died.
“In another incident, police recovered six bodies from Narayanguri village in Baksa district today (Friday) evening. We are not sure whether they were killed today or earlier. However, the modus operandi indicates it to be a handiwork of NDFB’s anti-talk faction,” said state Home Commissioner G.D. Tripathy.
Police suspect the attacks to be a retaliation to the ongoing anti-insurgency operation by security forces in BTAD, where some NDFB militants were killed recently.
Officials said the army carried out flag march in violence-affected areas of Kokrajhar and Baksa districts.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi condemned the attacks, and asked police to leave no stone unturned to arrest the militants and bring the situation under control.
“The government will do everything possible to frustrate the nefarious designs of the insurgents out to create terror and to apprehend them at the earliest,” Gogoi said.
A statement issued by the chief minister’s office said Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde called up Gogoi Friday to assure him help and support to bring the situation under control.
In Shimla, Shinde said 10 battalions of central forces have been dispatched to Assam. Earlier, Assam’s home department sought 10 companies of additional central forces for deployment in the violence-hit districts.
In one of the worst riots between Bodos and Bengali-speaking Muslim settlers in BTAD in 2012, over 100 people were killed and more than four lakh were displaced.