India attack: Suspected rebels kill dozens in Assam

India attack: Suspected rebels kill dozens in Assam

India attack: Suspected rebels kill dozens in Assam

Written by Staff Writer

24 Dec, 2014 | 10:48 am

Separatist rebels have killed at least 52 people in remote villages of India’s north-eastern Assam state, police say.

Women and children were said to be among the victims, amid fears that the death toll could rise further. Police blame the attacks on the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).

The NDFB wants an independent homeland for the ethnic group to be carved out of Assam. Tuesday’s attacks took place in areas populated by non-Bodo people.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior Assam officials condemned the raid.

Police said the rebels attacked the villages in Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts late on Tuesday.

Authorities have imposed an indefinite curfew in Sonitpur, where at least 30 people, including 10 women, were killed.

Those killed were mainly tribespeople who worked in the local tea gardens, reports said.

Villagers who escaped the attacks told police that the armed rebels came on foot, forced open the doors of their huts and opened fire. Some villagers were pulled out of their houses and gunned down.

“They didn’t even spare women and children,” a police officer told Reuters news agency.

In the past, Bodo rebels have targeted local tribes people along with Muslim settlers.

In May, 32 people belonging to the minority Muslim community were killed in two attacks in Kokrajhar and Baksa districts.

More than 100 Muslim migrants were killed in another such raid at Bansbari, a makeshift camp for displaced Muslims in 1993.

The Bodos now have an autonomous territorial council which one of their parties, the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), controls. But many feel migrants have taken over much of the land they traditionally occupied.

Assam has been plagued by ethnic clashes and separatist violence in recent years.

A number of rebel groups have been fighting the central authorities, demanding autonomy or independent homelands for the indigenous groups they represent.


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