Assam: Daydream of an outfit-free state in 2024 after serial grenade explosions, encounters, and peace accords 

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GUWAHATI: On November 1, 2018, suspected ULFA (I) outfits carried out a tragic attack, claiming the lives of five Bengali Hindus on the banks of the Brahmaputra near Kherbari village in Tinsukia district, upper Assam. This incident marked a dark chapter as the last major massacre targeting a non-Assamese community. While such attacks had reportedly occurred before, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is credited with curbing these atrocities in the states after 2018.

However, in a sudden turn of events this November, multiple grenade attacks in Tinsukia, Sivasagar, and Jorhat districts of upper Assam have instilled fear among the populace. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is actively investigating the blast sites to unravel the circumstances surrounding the attacks.

Adding to the tension, last week, three men in Assam’s Tinsukia district were injured while allegedly attempting to escape custody after trying to snatch a pistol from an officer. The police revealed that the trio had connections to the banned ULFA (I) and had left their homes to join the group when apprehended.

These incidents are viewed as potential signs of a resurgence of insurgency in Assam, prompting government concerns and actions to counter it. Notably, upper Assam, particularly Tinsukia and Sivasagar, has been recognized as a stronghold of ULFA (I).

In an effort to maintain peace in the state, the Assam government, in collaboration with the central government, signed a peace pact at the end of this year with the pro-talks faction of ULFA. The agreement involves a commitment to renounce violence, disband the organization, and participate in the democratic process. Union Minister Amit Shah, present at the signing ceremony in New Delhi alongside Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, declared it a momentous day for the people of Assam.

In an exclusive interview with Borok Times, diverse groups across the state expressed their expectations for a terrorism-free 2024 in Assam, emphasizing the need for this hope to become a reality, not just a daydream.

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