Five CRPF men killed, 44 injured in Assam ambush

NDFB militants are suspected to be behind the powerful IED blast in Assam`s Goalpara district.

Five CRPF men killed, 44 injured in ambush in Assam
Goalpara: At least five CRPF personnel were killed and 44 others injured, 15 of them seriously, when militants triggered a powerful IED blast at
Bhalukbudi in the district Friday, the second major attack on
security forces in Assam this week.

The IED was placed under a staff bus carrying personnel of the CRPF`s 12th battalion `E` Company to Goalpara town from their Agiya Balijana camp through dense forest at around eight am, District Superintendent of Police Louit Aind said.

Four of the victims died on the spot. They have been identified as head constables Punam Sen, N B Salon, Lance Nayak P N Rao and constable Ronbir Singh, Aind said.

The fifth victim Mangal Nayak succumbed to injuries at the Gauhati Medical College Hospital where 13 of the seriously wounded were admitted, official sources said.

The other injured were being treated at the Goalpara Civil Hospital.

The personnel were returning from Army training being imparted to them for their subsequent deployment in Naxal operations when the blast took place.

All the slain troops were killed due to splinter injuries, CRPF sources said, adding that the driver of the bus displayed presence of mind and drove the bus straight to a nearby hospital.

The CRPF headquarters in New Delhi has rushed its Additional Director General (Training) Rakesh Jaruhar for an on-the-spot assessment.

The vehicle was badly damaged in the blast and blood was splattered all over the vehicle, the sources said.

Used wires and batteries were recovered from the spot of the ambush.

While the police asserted that the anti-talk faction of the NDFB, which has a stronghold in the area, was behind the attack, the ULFA called up local news television channels here claiming responsibility for the attack.

ULFA publicity wing member Anu Buragohain called up the TV channels asserting that the underground outfit`s long silence should not be read as a sign of weakness and demanded that the government show its responsibility towards holding talks with his organisation.

Buragohain threatened to intensify their violent activities in the future.

Official sources, however, said the attack was carried out by the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Daimary) which is opposed to peace talks. The faction`s chairman, Ranjan Daimary, is now lodged in the Goalpara district jail.

Today`s attack is the second major assault on central para-military forces in a week. NDFB (D) ultras killed four jawans of the Sashastra Seema Bal and injured two others in an ambush at Amlaiguri in Chirang district ordering Bhutan on Monday.

Daimary`s followers had also recently vowed to continue their fight for Bodoland, the sources said.
A massive search operation has been launched for the attackers.

Earlier this month, the anti-talk faction had blown up a railway track at Gossaigaon in Kokrajhar district where a six-year-old boy was killed and 12 others were injured.

On Monday, SSB men from their Salmara unit were similarly ambushed by a remote-controlled IED put under their vehicle before being fired upon.

The SSB jawans have been deployed to guard the 267-km Indo-Bhutan border along Kokrajhar, Udalguri, Chirang and Baksa districts falling under the Bodoland Territorial Council in Assam.

Meanwhile, five militants, including four from NDFB publicity wing and one from Manipur`s Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), were arrested by the Assam police from Guwahati yesterday.
The police have stepped up search operations in the city following intelligence reports that militant outfits, particularly the NDFB, were planning to carry out subversive activities in the run-up to the Independence Day celebrations.


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