Nagaon, Dec. 18: Two policemen were killed and five injured when suspected Dimasa militants of the Jewel Gorlosa faction attacked a camp of Assam Police Battalion in North Cachar Hills district this morning.
This was the third major attack on security personnel by the anti-talks faction of Dima Halam Daogah in just over a month.
NC Hills police said nearly 20 suspected militants of the group, dressed in army fatigues, attacked the Faiding-based camp from two directions at 4am.
One group opened fire from a nearby hillock while another hurled a grenade and opened fire from the foot-hills, a police official said.
Only sub-inspector Royel Kumar Changmai, 33, and lance naik Mayaram Kalita, 36, were awake at the time of the attack. The others were asleep.
Changmai, from Abhayapuri town in Goalpara district, had just completed his duty and returned to his room to sleep. He rushed out on hearing the gunshots, but was shot dead before he could retaliate.
Lance naik Mayaram Kalita, from Dodora under Hajo in Kamrup district, was also killed on the spot.
The others woke up as the sound of gunshots rang out. They immediately retaliated. The encounter lasted for about half-an-hour, after which the militants fled.
Five persons were injured during the encounter naik Binod Chandra Roy, lance naik Bokul Bora and three constables, Putul Roy, Abdul Kadir Sarkar and Langlong Pamei.
The injured were taken to Haflong civil hospital. Hospital superintendent Krishna Kemprai said Binod Roy and Bora, who were hit by bullets, were admitted to the hospital. Both are now out of danger, he added. The other three were released after being administered first aid.
A grenade was later recovered from inside the camp.
Platoon commander Dhiren Roy had gone on leave the previous day. N.C. Hills deputy commissioner Anil Kumar Borua and superintendent of police Dipak Kedia rushed to the spot.
We are trying to gather details...investigations are on, Borua said after reaching Faiding, 4km from Mahur town, which is another 50km from the district headquarters of Haflong.
Located under Mahur police station in Maibong subdivision, the camp housed a platoon of 26 armed personnel of the 8 Assam Police Battalion. They were deployed there to provide security to railway personnel engaged in gauge conversion.
Security camps, comprising single and double platoons, have been set up throughout the area where work on gauge conversion is on.
The tight security cover was provided after the Gorlosa group carried out a series of attacks on railway staff.
The outfit killed nine persons, including some railway officials, in an ambush at Langting when the team was going to a construction site at Maibong from Lumding in February.
It gunned down seven CRPF personnel who were escorting a senior officer from Haflong to Guwahati on November 2.
The next day, the group gunned down two security escorts of Congress leader Darbitham Hmar in lower Kharthong district council constituency.
After the two incidents last month, 14 additional companies of security forces were deployed in the troubled hill district, but violence continues to rock it.
Yesterday, suspected militants opened fire on the Haflong residence of newly-elected ASDC member Kalijoy Singyung at 8.30pm. Singyung was not at home at the time of the attack.