Five bus passengers were shot dead and four others injured by Bodo militants in Assam’s Kokrajhar district bordering West Bengal on Friday night.
The attack was carried out by the Sangbijit faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) at Aathiabari on National Highway 31. The victims were all Hindi-speaking people from Bihar and West Bengal.
The militants intercepted four buses en route Assam and Meghalaya from north Bengal. They then forced the Hindi-speaking passengers to get off. The rebels lined up the victims and shot at them from close range. Five of them died on the spot and four were injured.
In a fresh attack on Saturday evening, suspected NDFB (Sangbijit faction) militants shot dead a man in Udalguri. The victim, a barber hailing from Bihar, was killed in front of his salon, the police said.
There were also reports about firing by the NDFB militants in neighbouring Chirang district. Casualty, if any, was not known.
“We are taking all precautionary measures to maintain law and order. Additional forces have been rushed to the district to contain the situation,” Assam’s home commissioner GD Tripathi told dna.
The outfit carried out the attack on Friday within hours of one of its cadres being gunned down by the security forces in an encounter in the district. Incidentally, Assam got a new director general of police in Khagen Sarma on Friday.
“The attack on the bus passengers was seemingly in retaliation to the killing of the NDFB cadre. An operation has been launched in and around that area to nab the perpetrators of the crime,” Tripathi added.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who is away in the national capital, has condemned the attack. “The chief minister has directed the director general of police to take all steps to nab the militants involved in the incident,” an official release said.