Militants injure three Hindi speakers in Assam

February 8th, 2010 - 11:09 am ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Feb 8 (IANS) Three Hindi-speaking migrant workers were injured, two of them critically, in an attack by tribal separatists in Assam, officials said Monday.
A police spokesperson said a group of about four militants late Sunday attacked a locality inhabited by Hindi-speaking people originally from Bihar in the heart of Kokrajhar town, about 220 km west of Assam’s main city Guwahati.

“The militants came and opened indiscriminate fire from automatic weapons at a group of people waiting on the roadside,” a senior police official said.

Three people received bullet injuries.

“Two of the injured were stated to be serious,” the official said.

Police blamed the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) for the attack.

The attack is seen as an attempt to make the NDFB’s presence felt ahead of Wednesday’s scheduled visit by union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai to Kokrajhar to review the law and order situation in the Bodo tribal heartland.

“We are worried and fear more attacks on Hindi speaking people,” Shekhar Yadav, leader of the Hindi Bhashi Chhatra Parishad, said.

Fratricidal clashes between the two warring NDFB factions - a group headed by Gobinda Basumatary has been in ceasefire mode since 2005 - and also clashes between the two NDFB groups and the now disbanded Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) have intensified in recent months.

The former BLT members are now ruling the Bodoland Territorial Council, a politico-administrative structure in the region.

More than 200 people have been killed in fratricidal clashes in western and northern Assam in the past two years.

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