Kokrajhar, April 19: Two alleged cattle smugglers were killed early on Tuesday and four police personnel injured in an “ambush by militants” in Assam’s Kokrajhar district.
According to police, the attack happened around 1:30 am when the smugglers were being taken to Jomduar area of the district by police personnel for identification of smuggling routes along Sankosh river.
The police officer claimed that the police vehicle carrying the duo “came under firing from militants”, following which the personnel jumped out of the car to take cover in nearby spots.
He also said that roads were blocked with felled trees at the site of the incident.
The police personnel, after taking cover, retaliated, following which gun fire exchanges continued between the two sides for 10-12 minutes, the officer stated.
“The two cattle smugglers were hit by bullets during the militant ambush. They were declared dead on being taken to Saraibeel Primary Health Centre in another vehicle,” he explained.
Four police personnel, who suffered injuries, were undergoing treatment at local hospitals.
One AK-47 rifle, two magazines, 35 rounds of live ammunition and 28 rounds of empty bullet shells were recovered from the site.
The deceased, identified as Akbar Banjara and Salman Banjara, are residents of Uttar Pradesh. They were arrested from Meerut for their alleged involvement in cattle smuggling, the officer said.
“During interrogation, they had revealed that cattle from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal and Assam were being smuggled to Bangladesh via Meghalaya.
“The duo divulged that fundamentalist militant organisations based in Bangladesh were involved in this racket and the money from this trade was being used for anti-India activities. Some of the money, they said, also found its way to militant outfits of Assam and Meghalaya,” the officer added.
“Police administration has intensified action against the illegal cattle smuggling and anti-social activities in the district,” said a senior police officer in Kokrajhar.
Meanwhile, one NLFB cadre surrendered before the police administration on Tuesday in Kokrajhar.
The cadre had reportedly escaped from the designated camp in Kokrajhar recently.
The cadre was identified as Ananiyas Basumatary alias B. Onthao of Jordanpur, Bishmuri.