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Suspected ULFA Militants Line Up and Shoot Five Youths in Assam, Mamata Banerjee Links it to NRC

According to police, the incident took place at around 8.55pm, about 6km away from the Dhola-Sadiya bridge. ULFA-I is yet to claim responsibility of the killing.

News18.com

Updated:November 2, 2018, 9:27 AM IST
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Guwahati: At least five persons were killed by suspected ULFA (I) gunmen at Kherbari village in Assam's Tinsukia district on Thursday evening.

The youths were reportedly sitting in a shop near Sadiya town when the cadres of the proscribed outfit picked them up and took them to the banks of the Brahmaputra river.

The suspected militants then lined up the youths and shot them dead one by one, officials told News18. The deceased persons have been identified as Subal Das, Shyamol Biswas, Abinash Biswas, Ananta Biswas and Dhananjoy Namasudra.

According to police, the incident took place at around 8.55pm, about 6km away from the Dhola-Sadiya bridge. ULFA-I is yet to claim responsibility of the killing.

Police and the Army have cordoned off the area and launched a search operation to nab the culprits. The area is close to the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, while condemning the dastardly incident, asked the state Director General of Police (DGP) Kula Saikia and ADGP Mukesh Agarwal to rush to the incident site to take stock of the situation.

He also asked ministers Keshab Mahanta and Tapan Gogoi to talk to people and ensure that peace prevails.

Condemning the killings in tweets, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee linked it to the National Register of Citizens in Assam.

“Terrible news coming out of Assam. We strongly condemn the brutal attack in Tinsukia. Is this the outcome of recent NRC development?” she asked. “We have no words to express our deep sorrow to the grieving families. The perpetrators must be punished at the very earliest,” she added.

The TMC has announced rallies in different parts of north and south Bengal, including Siliguri and Kolkata, on Friday to protest against the incident, while the All Assam Bengali Youth Student Federation has called for a 12-hour Tinsukia bandh.

Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also condemned the incident and said perpetrators would not be spared.

Home minister Rajnath Singh took to Twitter to demand action against the accused. “Deeply anguished by civilian casualties in an attack in Upper Assam region. It is a reprehensible act of mindless violence. Spoke to Assam CM Shri @sarbanandsonwal regarding the incident and asked him to take strict possible action against the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” he said.

Although there was no confirmation from officials, some media reports have attributed the massacre to NRC as the victims are Bengalis. The murders, the reports said, were a response to the growing rift between Bengali and Assamese people in the state, following the Centre’s move of implementing NRC.

The attack comes weeks after the ULFA-I detonated a low-intensity bomb in Guwahati on October 13 to protest against the Centre’s bid to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. Four people, including a woman, were injured in the blast.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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