Two persons have been killed and seven injured as a group of unidentified militants, suspected to be cadres of the anti-talk faction of ULFA, attacked a village in Tinsukia district late Friday evening. The two dead have been identified as Rajesh Shah and Kishori Shah, both Hindi-speaking settlers of the district.
A senior Assam Police officer here said that the militants, believed to be five or six in number, armed with sophisticated weapons, shot down a group of people who were assembled for a kirtan recital in the compound of Mahendra Shah, a trader in village Bamunbari under Philobari police station in Tinsukia. The incident occurred at around 7:30 PM.
The Assam Police officer said,”There were reports of a group of militants belonging to the anti-talks faction of ULFA moving around in Tinsukia district with the intention of indulging in violence in the run-up to Independence Day. There was an exchange of fire between militants and the police inside a reserved forest close to Doomdooma in the wee hours of Thursday.”
The officer said there was every reason to suspect the ULFA faction’s hand in Friday evening’s incident that occurred about seven kms away from the Philobari police station. Philobari is about 25 kms from the district headquarter of Tinsukia. Seven other persons who sustained bullet injuries have been shifted to hospitals in Tinsukia and Doomdooma, the officer said. Tinsukia has a history of the ULFA targeting Hindi-speaking settlers over the past 20-25 years.
It was only last Friday that suspected NDFB(S) militants had killed 14 persons by opening indiscriminate fire in a village market in Balajan Tinial, 12 kms north of Kokrajhar in western Assam.