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Assam death toll rises to 81, operations launched against NDFB(S)

Assam death toll rises to 81, operations launched against NDFB(S)

Guwahati: Operations were Friday intensified against NDFB(S) militants along the border with Arunachal Pradesh even as the death toll in the massacre rose to 81.

Normal life was, meanwhile, disrupted by a bandh called by several organisations in Assam.

Two persons, one each in Sonitpur and Chirang, injured in Tuesday's attack by NDFB(S) militants succumbed to their injuries last night, while a charred body was recovered from Gossaigaon in Kokrajhar district this morning, a police spokespersons said today.

A day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh made it clear that there will be no talks with terrorists and "zero-tolerance policy towards acts of terror", operations by security forces have been intensified along Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border in Sonitpur district, which bore the brunt of NDFB's attack.

A defence spokesperson said troops along with the police and paramilitary forces had intensified counter-insurgency operations along the border with the neighbouring state to flush out militants and smash their hideouts.

Aerial surveillance of the area was also carried out by Army Aviation Helicopter sorties, he said.

Army was also extending full support to the civil administration to instill confidence among the affected people and restore peace.

Meanwhile, a 12-hour bandh called by the All Assam Adivasi Students' Association (AAASA), Assam Tea Tribes Students Association (ATTSA) and Asom Yuva Parishad (AYP) disrupted normal life across the state.

The bandh was total in the affected districts of Sonitpur, Kokrajhar, Chirang, Udalguri and Baksa along with tea garden dominated districts of Jorhat, Golaghat, Sibsagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia in Upper Assam.

During the bandh, people came out in large numbers and protested against the killing of Adivasis by NDFB(S) militants.

The protestors belonged mostly to the tea tribe community and they submitted memorandum to the respective sub-divisional and district authorities.

There was, however, no report of any untoward incident from any part of the state so far, officials said.

All schools, colleges and educational institutions along with shops and business establishments remained closed and vehicular traffic remained off the road in the bandh affected districts.

The bandh had a mixed response in Guwahati and central and some Lower Assam districts with shops remaining closed, but bandh supporters burnt tyres to enforce the bandh.Vehicles plied in most areas.

Train and air services were not affected. Curfew was, meanwhile, relaxed in Baksa and Udalguri districts during the day but continued in the other affected areas in Kokrajhar, Chirang and Sonitpur districts.

The Centre has sent 50 companies of additional security forces to the affected districts of Sonitpur and Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri of Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD).

IGP (BTAD) L R Bishnoi said 38 companies of paramilitary forces sent had been allotted to BTAD with 30 companies having arrived so far and the remaining eight likely to come in the next few days.

In Kokrajhar, 16 companies had been deployed, in Chirang ten and six each in Baksa and Udalguri, he said.

Bishnoi said there was no fresh incident reported in BTAD and the situation was currently stable.

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