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Terror attack in Assam market claims 14 lives

Terror struck Assam on Friday when suspected NDFB(S) militants attacked a crowded market place in Kokrajhar district killing 14 people and leaving more than 20 others injured.

Terror attack in Assam market claims 14 lives
Security personnel respond to a terrorist attack by unidentified assailants at Kokrajhar in Assam


One of the attackers was killed in retaliatory action by security forces. Assam Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay said the attack at Balajan Tiniali market, 12 km from here, was suspected to be the handiwork of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-S) and search operations by the security forces were on in the area. He said 12 people died on the spot when the militants who came in a van around 12.30 pm opened fire. Two more people died on their way to the hospital, another police official said. One of the attackers was killed when security forces patrolling the area retaliated, Sahay said. The body of the slain militant was yet to be identified. It is suspected that three or four militants may be hiding and operations are on to nab them, he said. AK-56 and 47 series rifles along with grenades were recovered from the spot. More than 20 persons have been injured, most of them critically, said officials.

Sonowal promises stern action for Kokrajhar attack

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday denounced the suspected attack by National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) in Korajhar that claimed 12 lives as ‘cowardly and dastardly’ and said the militants would be dealt with ‘very sternly’.

He announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the dead, Rs 1 lakh to the seriously injured and Rs 20,000 to those who sustained minor injuries in the attack. Directing Assam Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay to beef up security and launch a vigorous drive to apprehend those behind the ‘heinous crime’, Sonowal, who is away in Delhi, said the militants would be dealt with ‘very sternly’, a statement from the CMO said. “We will not tolerate any threat from any group. The government will not bow to any pressure while tackling terrorist groups,” he said, adding all deputy commissioners and superintendents of police across the state have been directed to be on high alert following the attack and in view of the Independence Day. 

“Ensuring protection to life and property of the people is the first and foremost duty of the government. I appeal to all people of Assam to exercise restraint and to maintain peace and harmony,” he said. The Chief Minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh discussed the incident with him and have conveyed their deepest condolences to the family members of those killed in the attack. 

Sonowal asked the district administration of Kokrajhar to ensure that the injured persons got proper treatment and the seriously injured were taken to Guwahati Medical College and Hospital for immediate treatment. A high alert has been issued across the state and patrolling has been intensified along the Indo-Bhutan border. “We have asked all Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police to be extra vigilant and border patrolling has been intensified so that militant should not escape into the bordering countries,” a security official said. 

Meanwhile, cutting across party lines leaders have condemned the attack. “I condemn the gruesome killing of the people. Ahead of Independence Day militant try to destabilise the peace in the state every year. How the intelligence wing of the state government failed needs to be probed,” Gaurav Gogoi, MP from Assam said. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday condemned the terrorist attack in Kokrajhar of Assam.

‘’News of the terror attack in Kokrajhar, Assam is extremely worrying. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims,’’ Rahul said in a tweet. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also extended his condolences for the lives lost and said the Home Ministry is in touch with the Assam Government and is monitoring the situation closely. Prime Minister Modi said in a tweet, “Saddened by the attack in Kokrajhar. We strongly condemn it. Thoughts and prayers with the bereaved families and those injured.”

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