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Militant killed in Chirang encounter

Bongaigaon, Dec. 8: A suspected militant was killed in an encounter between cadres of the Songbijit faction of the NDFB and the security forces at Daisungjhora in Chirang district in the wee hours today.

Chirang additional superintendent of police, T. Ram Pegu, said three NDFB militants fired on a team comprising police and CRPF and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) jawans, who were carrying out combing operations in Daisungjhora under Amguri police station in Chirang district.

Police said the NDFB cadre identified as Biswajit Basumatary, 28, was injured in the retaliatory fire and died on his way to hospital later while the other two escaped in the dark.

The combing operations were launched after two jawans of the SSB (civil wing) were allegedly kidnapped by cadres of the outfit yesterday from Kahitama village in Chirang district, close to the Indo-Bhutan border.

Biswajit was a resident of Kumarshali near Ballamguri in the district, about 4km from the encounter site. His family members, however, said he had gone to his crop field at dawn and claimed he was not a militant.

Jayanta Basumatary, president of the Chirang unit of the All Bodo Students’ Union (Absu), said, “Biswajit was a HS student studying of Ballamguri Junior College. Since his father Phulicharan was unable to go the field owing to a broken leg, Biswajit had gone there to bring the plough back. But we heard he was killed in an encounter which is unbelievable. I appeal to the security forces to stop killing innocent people in the name of rebels. I also appeal to the abductors to free the two SSB jawans soon.”

However, Pegu claimed Biswajit was a militant since they recovered a firearm and other incriminating materials from his possession.

The encounter spot is 20km from the district headquarters Kajalgaon and 170km from Guwahati.

The security forces also recovered two pistols, a grenade, 12 rounds of ammunition, blankets, some currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations and few extortion notes from a temporary shelter of the cadres near the encounter site.

Chirang superintendent of police Ranjan Bhuyan said they still did not have any clue of the whereabouts of the two missing SSB jawans. No demands from the alleged abuctors have been received by the SSB officials based at Bongaigaon sector headquarters, he added. The SSB guards about 699km of the international border, traversing Kamrup, Bongaigaon, Baksa, Chirang, Udalguri and Nalbari districts in Assam.

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