Centre orders all-out operations against NDFB militants

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New Delhi, Dec 24:An all-out offensive will be launched against NDFB militants jointly by police, paramilitary forces and army in the wake of the group killing over 50 people in two districts of Assam.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by top officials of ministries of Home, Defence and paramilitary forces, sources said.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh

"This was an act of terror and we will deal with it accordingly... whatever action is required, we will take," Singh told reporters after the meeting.

Describing the attack on Adivasi villagers by the Songbijit faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), as "very unfortunate and cowardly act", he said 50 companies (5000 personnel) of paramilitary forces have been rushed to Assam to assist the state government to deal with the situation arising out of the violence in Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts.

The sources said army, which has its 4 Corps headquarters in Sonitpur district, has been asked to mobilise troops for the operations against the NDFB militants.

Singh, accompanied by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, will take stock of the situation there in the evening following a directive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Singh will review the security situation in Assam with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, his Cabinet colleagues and senior officials at Guwahati tonight. The Home Minister will travel to Biswanath Chariali, one of the worst-hit sub-division, tomorrow to meet victims and those affected due to the violence perpetrated by NDFB.

Rijiju described the incidents as "synchronised attacks" on Adivasi people in multiple places as the two violence-hit districts -- Kokrajhar and Sonitpur -- are at least 300 km apart. He said there were intelligence inputs about possible attacks by NDFB but the forces could not reach on time.

Meanwhile, Modi has expressed grief over the loss of lives in the militant attacks in Assam. He has sanctioned ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to seriously injured persons from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund. Rs 86 lakh is being released to state government from PMNRF.

The Union Cabinet, which met this morning under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, paid homage to the victims of the "cowardly attacks" in Assam on Tuesday. The Cabinet members observed two minutes silence as a mark of respect to the victims.

PTI

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