Two people were killed and six injured after militants opened fire in a village in Assam’s Tinsukia district on Friday. The two killed in the attack have been identified as Kishori Shah and Rajesh Shah, both hindi speaking people, settled in the district.
The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) is suspected to be behind the attack, Assam Police chief Mukesh Sahay said. He added that four to five gunmen entered Philobari village and opened indiscriminate fire at the villagers.
A senior Assam police officer said the terrorists were armed with sophisticated weapons. They opened fire on a group of people who had gathered for a kirtan recital in the compound of one Mahendra Shah, a small-scale trader in Bamunbari village under Philobari police station in Tinsukia.
There were reports of a group of militants belonging to the anti-talks faction of ULFA moving around in Tinsukia district with the intention of indulging in violence in the run-up to Independence Day. There was an exchange of fire between militants and the police inside a reserved forest close to Doomdooma in the wee hours of Thursday.an Assam police officer told The Indian Express
Philobari has a considerable Hindi-speaking population, migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, mostly working as daily wage labourers.
While Tinsukia has a history of ULFA targeting hindi-speaking settlers there, police suspect that is the case in Friday’s attack too.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal condemned the attack, which has occurred only days after 13 people were killed by suspected NDFB(S) militants in Kokrajhar district in Assam.
The six injured were shifted to Assam Medical College Hospital in neighbouring Dibrugarh district.
Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed and security measures tightened in the district, officials said.
Only a day earlier in Philobari, suspected ULFA-I militants had exploded an improvised explosive devise (IED) in a drain near Badalbheta Tea Estate, but nobody was injured.