Free Press Journal

We had information about attacks by Bodo militants: Police



Guwahati: Authorities in Assam had information that Bodo militants would go on rampage but could not mobilise forces due to lack of time, a senior police officer said here Friday.

Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) S.N. Singh also said the killings of adivasis were ordered by B. Bidai, the self-styled commander-in-chief of National Democratic Front of Bodoland’s (NDFB) faction opposed to peace talks.

“We had received prior information about the killings. We also received inputs from the central intelligence agency about the killings. However, there was no time for mobilisation of forces to all the places which were located in remote areas,” Singh said.

“Police have, however, foiled one of the strike attempts of the militants. The militants had plans to target six locations. While they could attack people in five locations in the three districts, we foiled one of their attempts in Kokrajhar district,” he said.

Singh said: “There was no approval of the faction’s chairman I.K. Songbijit for the killings in Kokrajhar, Chirang and Sonitpur districts. It was B. Bidai who ordered the killings.”

Bodo militants launched attacks Dec 23 in the three districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang and Sonitpur, killing 76 people.

The backlash of the violence soon spread to neighbouring Udalguri district and many houses belonging to Bodos and adivasis were burnt. Over 2.3 lakh people are still living in 118 relief camps set up in the four districts.

The police officer said the situation is turning normal in four districts and that the state government has been setting up fixed and mobile police pickets in the districts to ensure security to the people.

Besides, he said the anti-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has plans to carry out subversive activities across the state ahead of the Republic Day celebrations.

Singh said the terror group may try to carry out the subversive activities in Golaghat, Dibrugarh, Sivsagar, Tinsukia and Goalpara districts.

Meanwhile, Commissioner and Secretary (Home and Political) Pratik Hajela said the people have started returning to their homes from the relief camps in the four violence-hit districts.

“About 28,000 people had left the relief camps in last 24 hours (since Thursday). Now we have 2,08,000 inmates in 118 relief camps,” Hajela said.