Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam
Video Producer: Priyale Chandra
Three members of a family were among five persons shot dead by suspected ULFA (Independent) militants in Assam’s Tinsukia district on Thursday, 1 November. Two other people were also injured in the incident which comes weeks after the outlawed outfit carried out a low-intensity bomb blast on 13 October that injured four people, including a woman.
On 1 November, a group of assailants with sophisticated weapons came to this village near Dhola-Sadiya bridge and called out five-six persons from their house around 8 pm, police said.
They then opened fire upon those people before fleeing under the cover of darkness, a police officer said.
The five people killed in the attack are Shyamlal Biswas, Ananta Biswas, Abhinash Biswas, Subodh Das and Dhananjay Namashudra.
Police suspect the gunmen belonged to the ULFA (Independent) faction as they were in battle fatigue.
ULFA Denies Role in Attack
A day after the attack, ULFA(I) issued a statement denying its role in the killings. “We would like to make it clear to all concern authorities that our organisation does not have any involvement in the firing incident that occurred on 1 November in Tinsukia district,” the statement said.
Political Leaders Condemn the Attack
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh condemned the attack and called it a “reprehensible act of mindless violence.”
“Spoke to Assam CM Shri @sarbanandsonwal regarding the incident and asked him to take strict possible action against the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” he tweeted.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal condemned "the killing of innocent people" and conveyed his sympathy to the bereaved families.
“Strong action will be taken against the perpetrators of this dastardly violence. We will not tolerate such cowardly act.”Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal
Sonowal said he has directed state ministers Keshav Mahanta and Tapan Gogoi along with DGP Kuladhar Saikia to rush to the spot.
"We will not spare the culprits of the killings and will be brought to book," he said. The chief minister appealed to the people of Assam to maintain peace and harmony. He also directed all deputy commissioners and SPs to remain alert.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the killings and questioned if the attack was a fallout of the recent National Register of Citizens exercise.
Banerjee tweeted that in a bid to protest against the attack, her party All India Trinamool Congress will organise protest rallies on Friday, 2 November in different parts of north and south Bengal including Siliguri and Kolkata.
Assam Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed shock over the "brutal killing" on Twitter.
Several students unions and youth organisations including the All Assam Students Union (AASU), Tai Ahom Chatra Santha, also condemned the killings and urged people to not be swayed by communal forces and to stay united.
AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi blamed Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal-led BJP government for allegedly "failing to take preventive measures despite intelligence reports about possible violence".
BJP's Assam unit spokesperson Numal Momin said such violence against innocent people cannot solve any problem and appealed to all to maintain peace.
Meanwhile, the Sadou Asom Bengali Yuba Chatra Federation called for a 24-hour Tinsukia bandh from 5 am on Friday to protest the killings.
(With PTI and IANS inputs)