New Delhi: Authorities in Sonitpur, the district which was worst-hit by the violence perpetrated by NDFB(S), had a little over two hours to respond after an intelligence intercept suggested an imminent attack on Adivasi tribals by the Bodo militant group.
Intelligence agencies had intercepted a message relayed in Bodo language at around 1240 hours on December 23. The message was deciphered at 1440 hours and it suggested NDFB(S) was planning to attack Adivasi villagers along Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border around 1700 hours, sources in the know said.
The information was immediately conveyed to the Sonitpur district administration which in turn alerted Biswanath Chariali police station under which the area falls.
However, the area is so remote and inaccessible that one can reach it only by one-hour drive from Biswanath Chariali town and then by two hours of walk from the last motorable point.
By the time police reached the two villages -- Sonajuli and Tinisuti -- everything was over and the NDFB attack resulted in more than 35 dead there.
A similar situation was at a place under Dhekiajuli police station of Sonitpur district and at Pakhiriguri and Ultapani in Kokrajhar district where the NDFB militants gunned down some more, sources said.
The day after of the attacks, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju also said there were intelligence inputs but the forces could not reach the spots on time.