Assam attack: Death toll at 32, NIA handed over probe

Guwahati: Nine more bodies were recovered today taking the toll to 32 in the violence unleashed by militants in two of Assam's Bodoland Territorial Administration Districts since Thursday, even as the state government decided to hand over the investigation to the NIA.

The nine bodies, including four children and two women, were recovered from Khagrabari village under Salbari sub-division adjacent to the Manas National Park in Baksa district, official sources said.

 Assam attack: Death toll at 32, NIA handed over probe

A boy cries near bodies of victims killed in violence in Assam. AP

The mayhem started on Thursday when heavily armed militants shot dead three members of a family, near Ananda Bazar area in the same district.

This was followed by firing by insurgents at Balapara-I village in neighbouring Kokrajhar district on Friday which left eight persons dead and several others injured.

Last night, 12 bullet-riddled bodies, including those of five women and a child, were recovered from Nankekhadrabari and Nayanguri villages in Baksa district where nearly 100 houses and a wooden bridge were set ablaze by the ultras.

Police fired in the air after a mob armed with spears and sticks tried to set ablaze a forest range office at Basbari in Baksa district this morning, the sources said.

This led hundreds of people to flee their homes with some taking shelter in two relief camps.

Of the four districts in the BTAD Baksa, Kokrajhar Udalguri and Chirang, the first two were affected.

The National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit) was suspected to have been behind the attack, however they denied involvement. They claimed that it was "a political conspiracy by Assam government to trigger clashes between two communities."

A press statement by NDFB Secretary (Information and Publicity Wing) NE Esara said "we ask the Assam government and its officials to stay away from such accusation without the slightest justification".

"Accusation against NDFB in the ongoing violence in BTAD by (DGP) Khagen Sarma and some leaders are baseless", the release claimed.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who chaired a cabinet meeting decided to hand over investigation to the National Investigation Agency to find those responsible for the violence.

"Let the NIA investigate who is involved. None will be spared if found responsible for the violence", Gogoi told reporters after the meeting here.

"I want to coordinate with neighbouring Bhutan as the militants may hide there after committing the crime. If the NIA comes then that can be done," the chief minister said.

PTI

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Updated Date: May 03, 2014 21:41:08 IST