Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday directed the police to arrest suspected Garo National Liberation Army(GNLA) militants who gunned down seven people in Goalpara district,and call in the Army if it is warranted.
Indefinite night curfew was clamped along the Assam Meghalaya border in Goalpara district.
Gogoi,who is in London on a visit,was monitoring the situation and directed Director General of Police J N Choudhury to arrest the culprits at the earliest and seek the assistance of army,if necessary,to bring the situation under control,official sources said in Guwahati.
The chief minister also asked ministers Himanta Biswa Sarma,Rakibul Hussain,Nilamani Sen Deka and Rajib Lochan Pegu to rush to the spot.
Gogoi took up the matter with the Meghalaya government seeking its assistance in apprehending the militants and urged it to ensure that the outfit did not create trouble during elections to the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council to be held between November 13 and 25,the sources said.
Gogoi also directed Chief Secretary Jitesh Khosla and the DGP to take up the matter with their Meghalaya counterparts. He also instructed Goalpara Deputy Commissioner Preetom Saikia to ensure medical care for the injured.
Suspected Meghalaya based GNLA ultras fired from automatic weapons on a group of people gambling on the occasion of Diwali at remote Gendamari village under Agia police station,killing six on the spot last night.
Another person succumbed to injuries on way to hospital while 10 others were seriously wounded in the attack by GNLA fighting for a separate state since 2009,the sources said.
The government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 6 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and free medical treatment for the injured.
The night curfew would be in force from 7pm to 6am within two km inside Assam from the inter-state border to prevent untoward incidents,Goalpara Deputy Commissioner said.
The NH-62 and NH-51 along with Khargang-Resubelpara Road were exempted from the purview of the curfew,Saikia said.
Goalpara district has been witnessing violence since October 20 with protests against the upcoming Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council elections demanding exclusion of non-Rabha areas from the Council.
Sources,however,said last night’s incident was not connected with the Council elections.
Meanwhile,a report from Shillong said security along the state’s border with Assam has been tightened in view of the killings.
“We have deployed additional forces in sensitive areas along the inter-state border,” G H P Raju,Inspector General (Operations) of Police,said.
He said the all precautionary measures were taken into consideration as per the advice of the Assam Police.
An uneasy calm prevailed in villages along the inter state border in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills region fearing that last night’s attack could bring about another round of Garo-Rabha clash which had displaced over 18,000 people in 2011,a senior government official said.