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Assam violence toll rises to 78; Rajnath promises strong action against NDFB(S) militants

In the wake of outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland [NDFB(S)] militants carrying out attacks in Assam, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday visited violence-affected Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts.

Rajnath Singh was accompanied by Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram.

After taking stock of the ground situation, the Home Minister said that Centre has “zero tolerance” policy for such “crafted terror” of NDFB(S).

The Home Minister met the victims’ families and instructed authorities to provide relief to the affected on a war footing.

The Union Minister appealed to the people to observe restraint and prevent clashes on ethnic lines. He assured them of strong action against the ‘terrorists’.

Earlier in the day, Rajnath had said, “The killings by NDFB(S) is not an ordinary act of violence by a militant outfit, but an act of crafted terror and we will deal with it accordingly.”

Assam continues to remain on the edge after Bodo militants carried out fresh attacks in the state on Wednesday, fuelling violent protests by Adivasis who were angry over the police failure to prevent the killings. The death toll in the violence unleashed by Bodo militants has risen to 78.

In the worst affected Sonitpur district, six more bodies were recovered this morning from Maitalu Basti under Zinzia police station bordering Arunachal Pradesh taking the toll in attacks by NDFB(S) to 43 in the district, a police spokesman said.

Meanwhile, tribals blocked the rail tracks in Malda-Katihar division protesting the massacre in Assam.

Additional SP, Malda district, Avisek Modi said a group of tribals, living in Gajol police station area, blocked the rail tracks at Eklakhi station, 29 km from Malda Town station, since 11 am in protest against the deaths in terrorist attacks.

Three adivasis were killed in police firing yesterday during protests against the carnage.

In Kokrajhar, the other severely affected district, retaliatory violence by adivasis claimed the lives of four Bodos at Manikpur and Dimapur areas.

25 people were killed by militants in Kokrajhar and three in Chirang district.

The Home Minister on Wednesday instructed the state agencies to take on the terrorists operating in Assam and assured Centre’s complete support in this endeavour.

While addressing the ‘Unified Command’, the Union Minister said that the killings of tribals in Assam was an act of terror and it was totally unacceptable.

Singh assured Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi of NIA investigation into the killings of villagers by NDFB(S) militants.

An all-out offensive will be launched against NDFB(S) militants jointly by police, paramilitary forces and Army in the wake of the violence, sources said in Delhi.

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