Assam Police Officer Killed in Encounter With ULFA Faction

Deceased police officer Bhaskar Kalita.

Deceased police officer Bhaskar Kalita.

Search operations have been intensified along Assam-Arunachal border, and security agencies are on an increased alert.

Karishma Hasnat
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Guwahati: Assam police inspector, Bhaskar Kalita, officer-in-charge of Bordumsa police station in Tinsukia district, was killed in an encounter with militants late Friday night. Nine bullets were pumped into Kalita while he led an operation against ULFA (Independent) militants along the Assam-Arunachal border.

“On receiving inputs about ULFA(I) militants holed up inside a house at Bordumsa town, a team of Assam police led by Bhaskar Kalita and senior officers launched a joint operation with Cobra battalion of CRPF. The team identified the house, and an intense firefight ensued between the militants lodged inside the house and the security forces that resulted in the death of our brave officer,” said Director General of Assam Police, Kuladhar Saikia.

Meanwhile, search operations have been intensified with Assam police suspecting that there might be fatalities on the side of militants. Villagers in the area reportedly fled from the encounter site last night. Security forces have cordoned off the area and combing operations are on.

“We are ensuring that they can’t escape. All security agencies along the border and entire Tinsukia district have been alerted,” said Assam DGP who reached Bordumsa Saturday morning.

Police said Bhaskar Kalita was posted in Bordumsa counter-insurgency area for a second term on personal request. The 35-year-old officer who was commissioned in Assam Police in 2008 hails from Azara in Kamrup district. He leaves behind his father, wife and two twins – a son and daughter aged 3 years.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, while condemning the incident, has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 20 lakh to the family of the deceased officer.

Bhaskar Kalita was wearing a bulletproof jacket and took nine bullets during the gunbattle. Police are still waiting for the post-mortem report and suspect that a few shots could have been fired from a Tavor X95 assault rifle.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sonowal has ordered an inquiry into the alleged faulty bulletproof jackets that were worn by Assam police officers in the combat operation.

On the other hand, eminent journalist Dhiren Chakraborty called ULFA(I) Chief, Paresh Baruah, a ‘criminal’, saying it is because of ULFA that Assamese youths are suspected to be involved in insurgency.

Two days ago, Assam police apprehended ULFA(I) cadre, Manoj Asom, from Charaideo district and seized 70 rounds of live ammunition from his possession.

(With inputs from Porishmita Gogoi Baruah)

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