Two ULFA militants, civilian, cop killed in Assam gunfight

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Guwahati, April 19 (IANS) Two cadres of ULFA’s anti-talk faction, a civilian and a policeman were killed in a gun battle between the security forces and militants in Assam’s Tinsukia district Friday.

The situation became tense in Kordoiguri area of the district where the gunfight took place and local people came out in large numbers to protest the death of the civilian. At least one vehicle of the security forces was torched by the irate mob.

Giving details of the incident, Assam’s Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) S.N. Singh said two AK 81 guns and some ammunition were also recovered from the two slain cadres of the outfit.

“A joint team of army, police and CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) cordoned off the area today (Friday) morning following a tip-off that some cadres of the militant outfit had taken shelter in the area.

“The security forces asked the militants to surrender but they retaliated with firing, forcing the security personnel to fire back,” said Singh, adding that apart from the two militants, the firing also left dead the owner of the house in which the militants were hiding.

One of the two slain cadres were identified as Raktajit Hazarika, a hardcore cadre of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), police said.

The IGP said the civilian, who got killed in the cross-fire during the incident had been identified as Pona Moran.

“One of the policemen engaged in the operation, Lohit Sonowal was also killed during the incident,” he said.

Meanwhile, angry local people staged a protest in the area and torched a vehicle of the security forces to protest against the killing of the innocent civilians in the name of anti-insurgency operations.

The ULFA, led by commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah alias Paresh Asom, has a strong presence in Tinsukia district that borders Arunachal Pradesh. The outfit had also distributed several extortion notes in the district.

The outfit had Thursday threatened Assam’s popular singer Zubeen Garg for singing a Hindi song at one of the functions in Guwahati recently, defying the diktat of the outfit to refrain from singing or performing Hindi tunes during the Rongali Bihu festival that began April 14.

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