Two Assam Rifles troopers killed in rebel attack on Assam-Arunachal border
Two Assam Rifles jawans were killed in an encounter with suspected NSCN(K) and ULFA (I) cadres at Jagun in Tinsukia district of Assam, close to the border with Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday.
“Two jawans have been murdered in the incident. In a swift counter-attack, several militants have also been neutralized. Details are awaited as the encounter is still on,” Assam Police DGP Mukesh Sahay told HT.
The India-Myanmar border has been sealed temporarily and a massive counter operation is underway.
The encounter started following a grenade attack on the Jagun-Jairampur stretch of NH 153 on a private vehicle carrying tourists to the Pangsau Pass winter festival, which began at Nampong in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday.
“A group of insurgents blasted a grenade which hit a vehicle around 8:00 am. Two vehicles were damaged, but no one sustained injuries,” Tinsukia SP Mugdhajyoti Dev Mahanta told HT.
Following the incident, Assam Rifles personnel reached the spot and engaged the militants.
Nearly 50 militants belonging to National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang and United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent are suspected to have been involved in the grenade attack on the tourist vehicle before they took on the jawans of the Assam Rifles in the encounter.
The incident has left thousands of tourists, including foreigners, who were on their way to the annual festival and also the nearby Lake of No Return, stranded on the highway.
“There were more than 500 vehicles on their way to the festival. Many of them have come back for safety reasons as the encounter is still on,” Mahanta said.
Every year, insurgent outfits in north-east issue calls to boycott Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations. Sometimes they carry out attacks on security forces and civilians.