Three terrorists killed in Assam (Lead, superseding earlier story)

June 11th, 2009 - 10:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Guwahati, June 11 (IANS) Three separatist militants were killed in Assam and a large cache of arms recovered in separate gunbattles with the army in the restive northeastern state, police said here Thursday.
A police spokesman said that a National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) militant was gunned down in an encounter Thursday as the soldiers continued anti-insurgency operation in different parts of Assam.

“A fierce gun battle took place between the army and NDFB rebels in Karbi Anglong district in southern Assam in which the guerrilla was shot dead. Other ultras 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 Guwahati.

In a separate encounter, two NDFB terrorists were gunned down in Udalguri district late Wednesday night. Some arms and ammunition were also recovered from the slain militants’ possession.

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 had reportedly been indulging in extortion from villagers and businessmen in different parts of Assam.

“At present, our target is to get the 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 zero tolerance policy for terrorism,” said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

“We will not accept ceasefire unless the separatists’ outfits follow the 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 has 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 and apprised them about state’s prevailing law-and -order situation and steps being taken to check terrorism.

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

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