Unidentified gunmen shot dead four members of a family in Assam’s restive Kokrajhar district under Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) even as the police arrested an executive member of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) for possessing weapons illegally.
The incident of killing occurred on Friday night when the gunmen barged into a house at Jiyaguri and fired indiscriminately. Three of the victims, including a minor boy, died on the spot while one succumbed to injuries in a local hospital.
With this, altogether 11 people have been killed in the fresh violence in BTAD, 10 of them in Kokrajhar.
Teenager Esad Ali, who survived the attack but was grievously injured, said the attack was perpetrated by 10 to 12 gunmen. “We were about to go to bed when the gunmen barged into our house and fired indiscriminately,” the boy told journalists.
In another incident in Kokrajhar district, a woman was seriously injured after she was shot by unidentified assailants on Friday night. Meanwhile, the executive member of BTC Mano K Brahma, who is also a leader of Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), was arrested from his Kokrajhar residence.
“Brahma was arrested in the wee hours of Saturday. Two AK-47 rifles, two magazines and 60 live cartridges were seized,” Assam’s home secretary GD Tripathi told DNA. The police said the weapons have been sent for forensic tests. Brahma’s arrest assumes significance given chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s recent assertion that a leader of a political party was involved in the violence.
The BTC is an autonomous body which governs the four districts of Bodoland. BPF is the ruling party in BTC and a partner of ruling Congress in the state.
Soon after Brahma’s arrest, the state government withdrew house guards and sophisticated weapons allotted to the BTC members.
The BPF reacted strongly alleging that the state government was trying to create unrest in BTAD. The party said Brahma was a victim of a ‘conspiracy’. Security forces launched a massive hunt for illegal weapons suspecting that they were being used in the ongoing violence.