Saddened by attack in Kokrajhar, Home Ministry in touch with Assam Govt.: PM Modi

| Updated: Aug 05, 2016 22:56 IST

New Delhi, Aug 5 (ANI): Asserting that he was saddened by the deadly terrorist attack in Kokrajhar, Assam in which 13 civilians were killed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday condemned the attack and said that his thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured. "Saddened by the attack in Kokrajhar. We strongly condemn it. Thoughts & prayers with the bereaved families & those injured," the Prime Minister said in a series of tweets. He further said that the Home Ministry is in touch with the Assam Government and is monitoring the situation closely. Echoing similar sentiments, Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi condemned the militant attack and asserted that the attack was a 'mindless and dastardly' one, adding that the perpetrators of such acts shall be dealt with in the severest possible manner. "Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi has strongly condemned the militant attack on a weekly market at Balajan Tinali in Assam and extended her condolences to the families of the thirteen innocent victims. Describing the attack as mindless and dastardly, she stressed that the perpetrators of such acts that target innocent and unsuspecting common people shall be dealt with in the severest possible manner," the Congress said in a statement. Hoping that immediate relief measures were being taken, Gandhi instructed the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee and the frontals to reach out to the injured and bereaved with all possible assistance. Meanwhile, NSA Ajit Doval met Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal and discussed the current state of affairs in Kokrajhar. At least 13 civilians have been killed and more than 20 have sustained injuries after militant outfits belonging to National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) fired indiscriminately. Speaking to ANI, Sonowal condemning the incident said that the state government has announced Rs. Five lakh to the deceased families and Rs. one lakh to the injured. He said that stern action would be taken against the militants. "Our government is committed to the protection of people of Assam and that is why we have immediately directed the Director General of Police and other senior police officials to rush to the spot," he said. He stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh have been apprised of the matter. One of the attackers has reportedly been gunned down. Meanwhile, Assam Finance Minister Hemant Bishwar told ANI that Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Assam Police and Paramilitary forces are conducting a joint combing operation to neutralise remaining extremists. He said that the Army has been kept at standby and will be called if necessary. As per reports, an AK-47 has been recovered from the terrorist who was killed after an intense gun battle that lasted about 20 minutes. The gunbattle ensued when the armed extremists opened fired at a market around 12 kms from Kokhrajar. This sudden incident of firing on people at a public place in broad daylight is first of its kind in the militancy-ravaged state. (ANI)