Tribal separatists kill four in Assam

February 19th, 2008 - 8:06 pm ICT by admin  

Guwahati, Feb 19 (IANS) Tribal separatists shot and killed four people and injured two in Assam’s North Cachar Hills Tuesday, forcing authorities to mount vigil in the thickly wooded southern district, the police said. “Some employees of Vinay Cements, a private cement company, were on way to a limestone quarry near Umrangsho in North Cachar Hills district when militants fired at them, killing four and injuring two,” a police spokesman said.

Police say members of a rag-tag rebel group called Black Widows were responsible for the attack in the area around 300 km south of here.

“The rebels set ablaze a truck used by the company to carry limestone,” the police spokesman said.

Black Widows, which is actually the anti-talks faction of the rebel Dima Halam Daogah that is fighting for a separate homeland for the area’s Dimasa tribals, was formed in 2003. The group is headed by a dreaded militant leader named Jewel Garlossa after breaking away from the DHD.

The DHD had entered into a ceasefire agreement with the government Jan 1, 2003 - a truce opposed by the Garlossa faction.

The Black Widows’ writ runs large in the North Cachar Hills district. According to Assam police sources, the outfit is also trying to extend its sphere of influence to the northeastern parts of Cachar district, also in southern Assam.

Black Widow cadres have constantly clashed with DHD members and several deaths have been reported in such clashes.

“We have intensified search operations in the area to capture the killers,” the police spokesman said.

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