Zee Media Bureau/Deepak Nagpal
Guwahati: At least nine more persons have been killed in militant attacks in Lower Assam, taking the death toll in the recent violence to 32.
As per reports, nine more bodies were recovered overnight in Baksa district.
The bodies of the victims, including four children and two women, were recovered from Khagrabari village under Salbari sub-division adjacent to the Manas National Park, official sources said. Bodies of two children were identified as Ilina Khatun and Ariful Islam.
Three children, aged between seven and ten years, who were hiding in a forest on the banks of river Beki were also rescued, the sources said.
Till last night, 23 bodies had been recovered, including of children and women.
At least 14 others were seriously injured in attacks by heavily armed NDFB militants in two communally-sensitive districts of Kokrajhar and Baksa.
The Prime Minister`s Office, on behalf of Dr Manmohan Singh, has appealed for calm.
“The PM urges people (in Assam) to remain calm and assures that Central government and state government will take all measures to maintain law and order,” the PMO said in a statement.
“PM condemns violence in Assam in which many precious lives have been lost and a large number of people injured,” the PMO added.
The attacks continued even as the Army was called in, as per a report, curfew clamped in the violence-hit districts.
The authorities have issued shoot-at-sight orders in view of the bloodbath perpetrated by the National Democratic Front of Bodoland militants.
Kokrajhar and Baksa districts come under the Bodoland Territorial Administration Districts (BTAD) area. Indefinite curfew was also imposed in Chirang district, also under BTAD, as a precautionary measure, police sources said.
A group of 40 NDFB-Songbijit militants, armed with AK-47 rifles, swooped down on Balapara-I village in Kokrajhar district in the early hours of Friday and fired indiscriminately entering three houses one after another killing seven persons on the spot, police said.
According to IGP LR Bishnoi, two children and four women of the minority community were among the seven persons gunned down.
The body of a three-year-old child also killed in the attack was recovered from the area later, police said, adding, 13 persons there were also seriously injured.
Later Friday night, 12 bullet-riddled bodies, including of five women and a child, were recovered from Nankekhadrabari and Nayanguri villages in Baksa district, police officials said.
At least 70 houses of the minority community were torched on the banks of Beki river near the Manas National Park in the district, IGP (Lawa and Order) S N Singh said.
Friday`s attack followed the one by the militants Thursday night when three members of a family, including two women, were shot dead and an infant seriously injured in neighbouring Baksa district.
The militants carried out the crime after entering the house near Ananda Bazar area in Baksa district also within BTAD, the police said.
Troops have been staging flag marches to instil confidence among the locals in the violence-affected places and to bring the situation under control, the Chief Minister`s office (CMO) said in a statement.
(With agency inputs)