Army guns down five militants in Assam

June 11th, 2009 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Guwahati, June 11 (IANS) At least five militants of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) have been killed in two separate gun battles with the army since Wednesday night in Assam, a police official said Thursday.
“A fierce gun battle took place between the army and NDFB rebels in Karbi Anglong district in southern Assam Thursday morning in which three guerrillas were shot dead and the remaining rebels of the group managed to escape,” the official told reporters.

One AK-47 rifle and a huge cache of ammunition were recovered from the spot, 175 km south from here.

In a separate gun battle, two NDFB terrorists were killed in Udalguri district late Wednesday night. Some arms and ammunition were also recovered from the militants’ possession, the official said.

Although the NDFB, a rebel group fighting for a separate homeland for the Bodo tribe in Assam since 1996, had entered into a ceasefire agreement with the union government in 2005, they have reportedly been indulging in extortion from villagers and businessmen in different parts of the state.

“At present, our aim is (to tackle) Dima Halam Daogah-Jewel (DHD-J) faction and NDFB as the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has been lying low for some time now. There is a zero tolerance policy too,” said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

“We will not accept ceasefire unless the separatist outfits comply with laid down norms of the government,” Gogoi told reporters in New Delhi Wednesday night.

The DHD-J faction has reportedly offered ceasefire proposal to the Assam government, which rejected the offer.

In the wake of recent terror incidents in Assam, Gogoi Wednesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in Delhi and apprised them about state’s law-and -order situation.

“Except in North Cachar Hills in southern Assam and some Bodo dominated areas, situation is by and large peaceful,” the chief minister claimed.

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