Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday condemned the dastardly attack on innocent people by some unidentified gunmen at Balajan Tinali in Kokrajhar on Friday afternoon, which killed 12 people and left several injured. He also asked the DCs and SPs of all districts to remain on high alert in view of the incident.
Terming the indiscriminate firing on innocent people as ‘cowardly and dastardly’, Chief Minister Sonowal warned that the militants would 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,” an official statement quoting the chief minister said.
Meanwhile, the chief minister, directed Assam Police DG Mukesh Sahay to beef up security and to launch a vigorous drive to apprehend those behind the heinous act. He also asked the DGP to instill a sense of security among the people and to ensure that peace prevailed in Kokrajhar.
The Army, meanwhile, said that only two militants were involved in the attack and that they had reached Balajan Tiniali bazaar on an autorickshaw. A press release issued by Guwahati-based Defence PRO Lt Col Suneet Newton also said that the two belonged to the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
“Two NDFB(S) cadres moving in an autorickshaw opened indiscriminate fire at Balajan Tiniali near Kokrajhar, killing about 13 civilians in the market and injuring 18 others. An Army patrol which was in the vicinity, immediately reacted and cordoned the area. The Army troops neutralised one of the terrorists on the spot. Any delayed action by the Army would have resulted in extremely high casualties amongst the un-armed, innocent civilians,” the Defence PRO said.
The Army, he said, has also launched a massive combing operation, pressing into service specialised troops, tracker dogs and other specialised equipments.
“The Army has been carrying out extensive area domination operations in the strife-torn Kokrajhar district, thus ensuring swift actions. The Army will continue its relentless operations against terrorists, who try to disrupt the peace of the area,” he added.