Five people were shot dead by suspected ULFA (Independent) militants in upper Assam’s Tinsukia district on Thursday evening.
Police officials said the incident took place at around 8.55 pm at Kherbari village, around 6 km from Dr Bhupen Hazarika Setu (Dhola-Sadiya bridge) under Dhola Police Station in Tinsukia district.
“Four motorcycle-borne gunmen came to Kherbari village and indiscriminately opened fire on the people who were playing ludo in a dhaba at the village under Dhola police station,” Tinsukia Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Prakash Sonowal said. According to locals the armed militants came in Army fatigue and started firing at the people.
The victims have been identified as Ananta Namasudra, Abinash Namasudra, Subal Das, Dhanai Namasudra and Syamal Biswas. The ULFA-I is, however, yet to claim responsibility of the killing.
The incident occurred at a time when several indigenous groups have launched protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
The ASP said police have launched massive operations in the area to nab the culprit. Top police officials have rushed to the spot.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal strongly condemned the killing of the innocent people. Taking strong note of the dastardly incident, the Chief Minister directed Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta and Minister of State (Power) Topon Kumar Gogoi to immediately proceed to the incident site to take stock of the situation, a statement issued from CMO said.
He also asked DGP Kula Saikia and ADGP Mukesh Agarwalla to rush to the site to deal with the situation. The Chief Minister further said that perpetrators of the crime would be dealt with firm hand. He also directed all Deputy Commissioners and SPs to remain alert.
The Chief Minister also condoled the death of the innocent people and conveyed sympathy to the bereaved families of the deceased.
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Krishask Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) and Congress have condemned the incident.
Strongly condemning the incident, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wondered whether the attack was a fallout of the recent NRC update exercise in Assam.
Let us cherish the ‘idea of India’ for which our freedom fighters laid down their lives. Our people and our great institutions must strive to remain “independent”, in the true sense of the word 2/2
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) August 14, 2018
“We strongly condemn the brutal attack in Tinsukia and the killing of Shyamlal Biswas, Ananta Biswas, Abhinash Biswas, Subodh Das and Dhananjay Namashudra. Is this the outcome of recent NRC development? We have no words to express our deep sorrow to the grieving families. The perpetrators must be punished at the very earliest,” she tweeted.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh while condemning the incident said he has asked Chief Minister Sonwal to take strict possible action against the perpetrators.
Shocked & pained by the killing of J&K State BJP leader Sh. Anil Parihar & his brother. My heart goes out to the bereaved family. Spoke to Advisor to J&K Governor, Sh Vijay Kumar regarding the incident. The police will leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators to justice.
— ?????? ???? (@rajnathsingh) November 1, 2018
“Deeply anguished by civilian casualties in an attack in Upper Assam region. It is a reprehensible act of mindless violence. Spoke to Assam CM Shri @sarbanandsonwal regarding the incident and asked him to take strict possible action against the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” Singh said.