Kokrajhar: In a fresh outbreak of ethnic violence in Assam, suspected militants shot at four labourers in Chirang district on the Assam-Bhutan border, killing one and wounding three.
All four were returning from Bhutan, and planned to take a train to their hometown of Malda in West Bengal. Shortly after they crossed the border into Assam, they were advised by the Sena Suraksha Bal, a border force, to report to the local police station for their security given the prevailing tensions. But as they were walking towards the police station, two men on a bike pulled up. The pillion rider fired on them with a pistol from point blank range. One of them died on the spot. Two others were wounded, but said to be out danger. The sole survivor fled and managed to find safety in a nearby house. He was later taken into police protection.
Police suspect the role of Bodo militants, especially the faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), which is against talks. The NDFB is suspected in at least two other shootings in this latest cycle of ethnic violence.
Monday's incident pushes up the death toll to 78. It comes on day when Congress President Sonia Gandhi visited the violence-prone Kokrajhar and Dhubri districts of Assam along with Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and assured locals to an end to violence.
Story first published:
August 13, 2012 23:38 IST