Tension continues in Kokrajhar, NIA team visits attack site (Roundup)

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Kokrajhar (Assam), Aug 6 (IANS) Tension continued to simmer in Kokrajhar in Assam a day after militants triggered grenade blasts and shot at civilians, even as the number of dead rose to 14 on Saturday. An NIA team studied the attack site as Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited the injured in hospital.

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said that one of the injured, who was hit by bullets, died on Saturday morning, taking the total civilian death to 14.

Three members of the anti-talk faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) opened fire at the weekly Balajan market near Kokrajhar town on Friday, killing 13 civilians and injured 20 others. One of the militants was shot dead.

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Sarma, who had visited Kokrajhar immediately after the incident on Friday, said that the slain militant has been identified as Manjoy Islari alias Maodang, a commander of the outfit.

Assam Chief Minister Sonowal and Sarma on Saturday visited Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) to meet the injured who were shifted to Guwahati last night.

A four-member National Investigation Agency (NIA) team, sent from the agency’s branch in Guwahati, visited the attack site.

“A four-member Guwahati NIA team visited Kokrajhar on Saturday afternoon, but it will not take over the case from local police right now. We will wait for government’s order,” an NIA source told IANS.

Five of the injured brought to GMCH last night are out of danger now. Today (Saturday) five more of those injured will be shifted to GMCH said Sarma.

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“The situation is normal now. We are receiving seven companies of additional forces in Kokrajhar. While a few of them have already reached, some are being sent,” said Additional DGP Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) LR Bishnoi said while talking to IANS on Saturday.

He said that the process of identifying the militants involved in the killings on Friday is on. “We have called the family members of the slain militant to formally identify him and the process is on to gather details about the other two militants involved in the killings,” said Bishnoi.

Meanwhile, a senior police official based in Assam Police headquarters at Guwahati said that inter-state borders of the state as well as all the entry and exit routes of the state have been sealed.

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The Assam government had also sent seven companies of additional forces to Kokrajhar district to help the existing forces in carrying out the operations against the militants and also to instil a sense of security among the people of the district.



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