Fourteen civilians have been killed and several others injured after terrorists opened fire at a market at Assam. One of the militants was also killed, with police recovering one AK-56 rifle from his possession. Security forces, however, were unable to capture any of the other assailants.
The incident occurred at Balajan Tiniali in Kokrajhar town; about 220 km west of Guwahati, when 3-4 masked gunmen, dressed in black, indiscriminately began firing at the crowded market. The terrorists also lobbed a grenade that ravaged three shops.
Reports say security forces have killed one terrorist but the rest escaped.
"At least three-four militants attacked the market place. Grenades were thrown...some militants are on the run," Assam’s director general of police Mukesh Sahay said.
Sahay also said that they suspected the gunmen to be part of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Songbijit (NDFB-S) faction.
Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal condemned the attacks and also said, "Our Govt will take stern action against these extremist outfits”.
The CM also announced an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh to next of kin of people who died and Rs 1 lakh for for the injured.
Minister of state, home affairs, Kiren Rijiju also responded to the attack, saying, "The Kokrajhar incident has come as a shock. (It is a) very dastardly and unfortunate attack. We have to be certain of elements behind Kokrajhar attack... cannot give official figures right now.”
Kokrajhar is the base for the Bodoland Territorial Council; the police suspect the militants were rebels of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland, which has been fighting for a separate homeland for the region's ethnic Bodo people.