Kokrajhar attack: One NDFB-S militant identified; 4-member NIA team visits Assam

On Saturday a four member Guwahati NIA team visited Kokrajhar to take stock of the situation in Assam where 14 civilians were killed after gunmen opened fire in a crowded weekly market. One of the attackers was killed in retaliatory action by security forces and has reportedly been identified as Monjoy Islari, a member of National Democratic Front of Bodoland- Songbijit (NDFB-S), reported CNN-News18.

Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who visited Kokrajhar immediately after the incident said, "Although the family members have identified the slain NDFB commander, we are going to go for DNA test to ascertain his identity scientifically."

On Friday, a group of heavily armed militants dressed in army fatigues had opened indiscriminate fire in a crowded market place and lobbed grenades killing 14 civilians. CNN-News18 has an exclusive video of the attackers right before they started firing.

A high alert was sounded across the state following the carnage, reported Hindustan Times. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who was in Delhi when the incident happened, rushed to Guwahati to hold a high level review meeting with senior police officers and bureaucrats.

He condemned the attack and said that the militants will be dealt with “very sternly”. "We will not tolerate any threat from any group. The government will not bow to any pressure while tackling terrorist groups," he said.

He announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs five lakh to the next of kin of the dead, Rs one lakh to the seriously injured and Rs 20,000 to those who sustained minor injuries in the attack.

Sonowal directed police officials to continue ongoing operations against NDFB-S and nab the two militants who managed to escape after the Kokrajhar attack. He also appealed to people across the state to remain vigilant and maintain communal peace and harmony.

The Assam government had also sent seven companies of additional forces to Kokrajhar district to help the existing forces in carrying out the operations against the militants and also to instill a sense of security among the people of the district.

The chief minister visited Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) to take stock of the injured who were shifted to Guwahati Friday night along with Sarma. "The doctors here informed us that their condition is improving. We have instructed security forces to go all out against the militants. We are committed to providing security to the lives and property of the people," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Home Ministry was in touch with the Assam government and is monitoring the situation closely. "Saddened by the attack in Kokrajhar. We strongly condemn it. Thoughts & prayers with the bereaved families & those injured," he tweeted.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh also spoke to Sonowal and said that the Home Ministry is closely monitoring the situation.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi described the attack as "mindless and dastardly" and said the perpetrators of such acts should be dealt with in the "severest possible manner".

As suspected by the Assam DGP, the attack was carried out by NDFB-S, according to recent reports. It is one of the largest insurgent group active in the region with more than 300 cadres in its folds.

NDFB-S was formed in 2012 and was one of the strongest voices in the anti-peace talk factions, and has been a target of the Indian security forces since then. The group vows not to rest until it has a separate Bodoland.

Since 2012, the group has indulged in multiple attacks and killed over 200 people.

With input from agencies

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Updated Date: Aug 06, 2016 13:47:38 IST

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