Mastermind of Assam's tribal massacre arrested
A top Bodo militant, allegedly one of the masterminds behind the massacre of at least 80 people in Assam in December last year, was arrested by the army and Assam Police on Monday, officials said.
Based on intelligence inputs, Sumanta Basumatary, a top member of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Songbijit (NDFB-S) faction's central council, was apprehended from Tukrajhar in Chirang district.
Sumanta Basumatary alias B. Sinaihang, is the self-styled joint secretary of the newly formed central council, and a trained terrorist of the outfit's 42nd Batch Bhutan, an official statement said.
His responsibility was coordination of terrorist activities, internal discipline, media interaction and propaganda.
"Sinaihang was very close to the outfit's new vice president G. Bidai and is believed to be the brain behind the killing of tribals in December 23, 2014, in Kokrajhar district. Thereafter, he fled to Bengaluru and recently returned to Chirang," the statement said.
Calling Sinaihang's apprehension a "major blow to NDFB-S", the statement said the apprehension and earlier operations have "substantially degraded" the outfit's capabilities in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts.
"The army's relentless operations in difficult and inaccessible jungle areas of Chirang district have forced the NDFB-S terrorists to flee from their hideouts and move to vulnerable areas, where they are being apprehended or neutralised by the security forces," the army said in the statement.
Facing the brunt, the NDFB-S has aligned itself with the UNLFW, an umbrella organisation of northeast terrorist groups.
A series of attacks by militants in December 2014 resulted in deaths of around 80 people, mostly tribals. The attacks took place in Chirang, Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts, and were carried out by the NDFB-S.