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Hunt on for killers of Assam engineer

Nagaon, Nov. 23: Dima Hasao police have identified the killers of Assam irrigation department executive engineer Rajib Kumar Pathak and launched a search operation.

The police claimed that a conversation between Pathak and his killers over phone just before the killing had given them significant clues.

“We have sufficient information about the persons involved and the motive behind the killing. If everything goes well, it will not take more than two to three days to nab the members of the group,” Dima Hasao superintendent of police B. Rajkhowa said.

“The group behind the killing cannot be called a militant outfit, but a gang of miscreants who operate in the district and neighbouring Nagaland. Three to four youths from Nagaland were involved in the operation, two of whom came to the site that day,” he said. He refused to give further details, saying investigations are underway. “Hopefully everything will be clear soon. The motive will be made public after the culprits are arrested,” he added.

Pathak, executive engineer (in-charge), Haflong south irrigation division, was shot dead by two gunmen inside his office at Sarkari Bagan on Friday. He died on way to hospital.

The fledgling Action Dimasa faction of Dima Halam Daogah claimed responsibility for the killing soon after.

Action is said to have floated a militant outfit recently with 12 former DHD rebels and the support of NSCN (I-M) and launched an extortion drive in the hill district.

“We have reports of an extortion drive but that was only some time back. We have not had fresh complaints from anybody in the last few weeks,” Rajkhowa said.

Pathak’s body was brought to his Barpeta residence last night after post-mortem. He was cremated today.

The North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council today said militant activities were carried out to disturb peace and tranquility and derail development activities.

In another development, Karbi Anglong police arrested a Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers cadre, Abongso Phangcho, and five linkmen from Hamren subdivision today.

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