At least 12 people were killed in a terror attack, when heavily armed militants opened fire in the Tinali Market area, a few kilometres away from Kokrajhar before fleeing the scene. A militant was gunned down subsequently. Police suspect the involvement of National Democratic Front of Bodoland NDFB(S).
The police fear the death toll in the attack may increase. Meanwhile, the injured have been shifted to nearby hospitals. The government and Opposition politicians expressed shock and condemned the barbaric violence. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Twitter, he spoke to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal about the situation in Kokrajhar. “MHA is closely monitoring the situation,” said Singh.
Assam CM Sonowal, in the meantime, has also reportedly spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the attack. The CM condemned the attack and said his government is committed to protection of people of Assam. “Have directed senior officials to rush to the spot. Our PM & HM have also discussed matter with me a few minutes back. They expressed their condolences,” said Sonowal.
Sonowal has announced an Ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to next of kin of people who died and Rs 1 lakh for the injured.
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. PM Modi said in a tweet, “Saddened by the attack in Kokrajhar. We strongly condemn it. Thoughts & prayers with the bereaved families & those injured.”
Minister of State for Home Affair Kiren Rijiju also reacted to the attack. “This is very unfortunate, we will assure that victims are taken care of,” said Rijiju.
BJP MLA Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Twitter: “Shocked at barbaric violence and death of innocents in Kokrajhar. Rushing to the spot. May god give courage to the bereaved.”
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also tweeted saying, “News of the terror attack in Kokrajhar, Assam extremely worrying. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims,” said Gandhi from his official Twitter account OfficeofRG.
News of the terror attack in Kokrajhar, Assam extremely worrying. My thoughts& prayers are with the families of the victims
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) August 5, 2016
Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje strongly condemned the attack and said, “Extend heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.”
Strongly condemn the cowardly attack on innocents in Kokrajhar dist. of Assam. Extend heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.
— Vasundhara Raje (@VasundharaBJP) August 5, 2016
Ripun Bora, Vice President, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, said on Twitter: “Attack in the middle of the Kokrajhar town of Assam – It’s a failure of the Govt. in maintaining law and order.”
Meanwhile, the area of the attack has been cordoned off by police and army security personnel and operations have been launched as the militants are suspected to be hiding in nearby buildings. Assam Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay said, “There has been an incident of firing. The security forces have reacted to it and one suspected militant as been reportedly neutralised. We have launched an intensive operation.”