Sonitpur (Assam): Police in Assam has arrested a suspect behind coordinated militant attacks on tea plantation workers and their families that killed at least 80 people, the deadliest in years.
The suspect has been identified as Suklai Basumtari, who is accused of having links with National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB). Police believe that a faction of NDFB, fighting for a separate state for ethnic Bodos, was behind the attacks.
Police arrested him from Biswanath Chariali town in Sonitpur district under operation named, 'All Out'.
"We have arrested one person from Biswanath Chairali region. He is a linkman of NDBF (National Democratic Front of Bodoland). On the basis of information gathered from him during investigation, we will carry on with the search operation. In the entire Sonitpur region, CRPF, Cobra is also conducting the operation along with Assam police. People who were in the relief camp have returned back home as the security forces deployed by the federal government are patrolling in the region round the clock," said Superintendent of Police, Sanjukta Parashar.
Some 7,000 villagers had fled their homes in Assam, fearing more attacks from the Bodo militants and took shelter in relief camps guarded by the army and police.
Meanwhile, several media groups appealed people to donate relief materials to victims in relief camps in Kokrajhar and Sonitpur.
"Thousands of people have donated clothes, food and whatever they could for the victims taking shelter in the relief camps. We have till now from the News Time Assam have distributed about 20 tonnes of clothes and food," said a journalist, Rajdeep.
The latest attacks, in which half the victims were women and children, have shaken Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government that came to power promising economic growth as well as a militarily secure India.