New Delhi, Aug 5 : Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre on Friday confirmed that the militant attacks on Kokrajhar, where 13 civilians were killed, were carried out by a faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
Bhamre told ANI that one of the militants has been gunned down and Army and paramilitary forces have started a combing operation to weed out the remaining the militants.
"While no terror group has claimed responsibility, a faction of the NDFB, a separatist outfit who seeks to obtain a separate Bodoland territory for the Bodo people in Assam, has carried out attacks.
Army and paramilitary forces have launched a massive operation to nab the militants and they were around seven to eight militants in number," he said.
He also said that Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, here, and briefed them about matter.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval also met Sonowal to discuss about the Kokrajhar attack. Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi condemned the militant attack, saying it was a 'mindless and dastardly' one, adding that the perpetrators of such acts shall be dealt with in the severest possible manner.
At least 13 civilians were killed and more than 20 have sustained injuries after the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) fired indiscriminately on a crowd.
Speaking to ANI, Sonowal said that his government has announced Rs. five lakh to the families of the deceased and Rs. one lakh to the injured. He said that stern action would be taken against the militants. Assam Finance Minister Hemant Bishwar told ANI that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Assam Police and other Paramilitary forces are conducting a joint combing operation to neutralise the remaining extremists.
He said the army has been kept on standby and will be called in if necessary. As per reports, an AK-47 has been recovered from the terrorist who was killed after an intense gun battle that lasted about 20 minutes.
The gunbattle ensued when the armed extremists opened fired at a market around 12 kms from Kokhrajar. This sudden incident of firing on people at a public place in broad daylight is first of its kind in the militancy-ravaged state.