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Sonowal’s Brief Tour of Kokrajhar Attack Site Leaves Locals Miffed

The NDFB(S) militant, who gunned down 13 people in the Balajan Tinali market, was killed by security forces.

Updated
India
2 min read
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inspects the Balajan Tinali market that was attacked by NDFB (S) militant, in Kokrajhar district of Assam on Sunday, 7 August 2016. (Photo: PTI)

Sumoti Basumatary, the kin of a victim in the Kokrajhar attack was given hardly a minute to speak with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, in the five-minute interaction he had with families of six victims.

A lone gunman of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Sonbijit) group opened fire on people at the Balajan Tinali market in Kokrajhar district of Assam on Saturday, killing 13 people before being shot down by security forces.

I had a lot to say but could just manage to say how I saw my husband shot from point-blank range and die in my arms [...] because of a few local leaders who tried to speak on our behalf. 
Sumoti Basumatary, Victim’s Wife

The Chief Minister’s visit brought with it a congestion of VIP vehicles, security personnel and mediapersons, but provided hardly any room to interact with those affected.

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In his address, Sonowal spoke of zero tolerance against terror attacks and assured the affected that the government “will be with you all”. He also chaired an hour-long review meeting of security actions at the Kokrajhar circuit house.

Also Read: Assam Attack: Those Involved Will Not Be Spared, Promises Sonowal

The locals however, were unhappy.

We have not seen such a rush but it is of no benefit to us. We wanted to interact with the chief minister but failed. If the chief minister can get down and walk, why can’t the others? Why do they need to block the road with their vehicles? There should have been better crowd and traffic control. 
A local
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Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visits the site of Kokrajhar shooting on Sunday, 7 August 2016. (Photo: IANS)
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visits the site of Kokrajhar shooting on Sunday, 7 August 2016. (Photo: IANS)

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