Army turns heat on Bodo militants : The Tribune India

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Army turns heat on Bodo militants

GUWAHATI: Normal life was thrown out of gear in the Brahmaputra Valley districts of violence-affected Assam today in view of the 12-hour dawn-to-dusk bandh.

Army turns heat on Bodo militants

Security personnel keep watch as demonstrators raise slogans against militants during a procession at Biswanath Chariali in Sonitpur district of Assam on Friday. AFP



Bijay Sankar Bora

Tribune News Service

Guwahati, December 26

Normal life was thrown out of gear in the Brahmaputra Valley districts of violence-affected Assam today in view of the 12-hour dawn-to-dusk bandh. The bandh call had been given by several organisations, including All-Assam Adivasi Students’ Association (AAASA) and Assam Tea Tribes Students Association (ATTSA), in protest against the killing of Adivasi villagers by Bodo militant group, NDFB-S, in parts of Kokrajhar and Sonitpur districts.

The Army today intensified its operation against NDFB-S militants in remote bordering areas to flush them out. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had announced here yesterday that an all-out operation would be launched to neutralise NDFB-S for carrying out the massacre of Adivasi villagers.

The death toll has gone up to 81 while curfew remained clamped in parts of Kokrajhar, Sonitpur and Baksa districts, a police source said.

A defence spokesperson said troops, along with the police and paramilitary forces, had intensified counter-insurgency operations along the border with the neighbouring state to flush out militants and smash their hideouts. Aerial surveillance of the area was also carried out by Army aviation helicopter sorties, he said.

India seeks Bhutan’s help

New Delhi: India has sought help from Bhutan to track down the NDFB-S militants as they could have escaped into the dense jungles that border Assam and Bhutan.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke with Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay seeking action against the terror group and was assured of support, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.

Meanwhile, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag today met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Later, he told reporters that the Army was “definitely going to intensify operations in Assam. The meeting was to review the security situation in Assam”. Singh is believed to have asked the Army Chief to coordinate operations with the armies of Bhutan and Myanmar.

(With inputs from Ajay Banerjee)

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