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Militants mock security rejig

Nov. 10: A security rejig and the start of intensive counter-insurgency operations in Assam seemed to make no difference as militants continued to trigger co-ordinated explosions, one such blast today killing a CRPF jawan and a civilian in Tinsukia district and another rattling the residence of the Nagaon police chief.

A vehicle carrying CRPF personnel bore the brunt of the blast near Borbora village, on the Amarpur-Chapakhowa Road, in Sadiya subdivision of Tinsukia at 5 pm. One of the personnel, Bansilal, died on the spot along with the driverís helper Dipak Chiring. Eight more personnel were wounded, three of them critically.

Around the same time, militants burst a grenade in the vicinity of the residence of the Nagaon SP Krishna Kanta Das. Although nobody was killed or wounded in the incident, the fact that it occurred in a high-security zone put the administration in a quandary.

Another grenade exploded in front of Santipur police outpost in Sadiya subdivision, at 6.20 pm. No casualty was reported.

Earlier in the day, senior army officers leading counter-insurgency operations in Assam and neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh met in Tezpur for a strategy session. The meeting decided to step up the pressure on Ulfa, particularly in the forested Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border areas where the outfit is believed to have set up camp.

Defence spokesman Col Narendra Singh said the meeting, chaired by the general-officer-commanding of the armyís Tezpur-headquartered 4 Corps, focused on steps to minimise collateral damage during the operations and ensure that human rights are not violated.

On Wednesday, shots allegedly fired by soldiers at fleeing militants killed a five-year-old boy and wounded his teenaged sister in a village in Tinsukia district.

The defence spokesman did not say whether this incident was discussed at todayís meeting. He only said that the 4 Corps chief urged all senior army officers to conduct counter-insurgency operations in co-ordination with the police and paramilitary forces and keep the goal of restoring peace in mind at all times.

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