Nagaon, Oct. 30: Suspected militants belonging to the Jewel Gorlosa faction of the Dima Halam Daogah gunned down 10 people, including eight policemen, while they were escorting a hearse in a remote area between Haflong and Lanka around 5pm today.
The slain the policemen include four constables of the 8 Assam Police Battalion, three constables of the North Cachar Hills police — two of the armed branch and one of the unarmed branch — and a homeguard.
The remaining two killed in the ambush were civilians.
The police said all the 10 persons were travelling in a Tata Sumo when the militants ambushed the vehicle at Thaijuary under Doyangmukh police station.
They had left Haflong at 2pm.
This is the second such major attack on the security forces in the area during the past year.
A similar incident occurred on November 2 last year when seven personnel belonging to the 50 battalion of CRPF were gunned down at Dehangi, just a few kilometres away from Thaijuari while they were escorting their commanding officer P.K. Chetry.
North Cachar Hills deputy commissioner Anil Kumar Borua said the Sumo was escorting a vehicle carrying the body of self-styled DHD sergeant major Naikhlai Dimasa, who was gunned down at his residence at Doyangbra in the district yesterday.
According to the deputy commissioner, the Gorlosa-led rival group is suspected to be behind the encounter.
“As there is an ongoing clash between the two groups, naturally it could be assumed that the rival group ambushed the vehicle escorting the hearse”.
The superintendent of police, Dipak Kedia, who was stationed in Doyangmukh after yesterday’s incident, rushed to the ambush scene immediately after receiving information.