KOKRAJHAR: An NIA team today scoured the site and spoke to eyewitnesses of yesterday’s terror attack here in which 14 people were killed while a massive combing operation was on to nab the militants of Bodo separatist outfit NDFB(S) suspected to be involved in the strike.
Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who visited the attack site, told reporters that the militant who was neutralised yesterday has been identified as Manjay Islari.
“He is a self-styled area commander of 16th battalion of NDFB(S) faction. We will give the body to his parents,” he said.
He said that combing operation in the area has been intensified to nab those who fled after carrying out the attack on Balajan Tiniali market, about 12 km from here, just days before Independence Day.
To a question, he said that the militants were not part of any suicide squad. “If they were part of a suicide squad they would not have fled.”
An NIA team has reached the spot and was speaking to eyewitnesses, officials said.
Combing operation by police, para-military and army is also on in neighbouring Chirang district to nab militants.
Defence sources said specialised troops, tracker dogs and other equipment have been pressed into service.
The Army was also carrying out extensive area domination operations in the district to ensure swift actions, they said.
The situation was described as tense but under control by police.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited the seriously injured at Gauhati Medical College Hospital and inquired about their condition. He spoke to doctors there on providing them advance medical treatment, government sources in Guwahati said.
Kokrajhar deputy commissioner held a high level security meeting with police, army and paramilitary forces to review the situation ahead of Independence Day, administration sources said.
A strict vigil was being maintained along the Assam-Bengal interstate border and international fronts with Bhutan to prevent the NDFB(S) militants from escaping there, the sources said.
Meanwhile, opposition Congress leaders, who visited Kokrajhar today, accused the ruling BJP government in the state of failing to take preventive measures despite the fact that militants regularly indulge in violent activities in the run up to Independence and Republic Days.
Armed militants dressed in army fatigues and belonging to the Bodo separatist outfit had opened fire and threw grenades at the crowded weekly market killing 14 people.
One of the attackers, who were believed to be five in number, was killed in retaliatory action by security forces, police had said.
Assam Director-General of Police Mukesh Sahay had said that the attack was suspected to be the handiwork of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-S). AK-56 and 47 series rifles along with grenades were also recovered from the spot.
The Assam Director General of Police and Additional Chief Secretary T Y Das also held a high level security review meeting with the district administration where it was decided to continue with the security operations.