Guwahati: Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday announced that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) would probe the brutal National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit), or NDFB(S), attacks on adivasis and its violent aftermath in Assam, which left 78 “poor and innocent" people dead.

Singh told a press conference after touring affected Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts, “I have spoken to the Assam chief minister and we have decided to investigate the entire incident by the NIA. We want to see the links of such groups. We want to know with whom they have connections."

He said that the government took the attacks “very seriously". “We cannot overlook it as a simple militant act. It is an act of terror.

Both state and central governments will deal with it the way terrorism is dealt with," he said. The home minister assured the state government of all assistance and said that if necessary, army assistance would be provided to the state government in its crackdown on the outfits.

He pointed out that the Centre already provided 50 companies of paramilitary forces to Assam. Singh ruled out talks with the group, saying “there will be no dialogues with such organizations. Only action will follow. There will be time-bound action, we don’t want to drag it. I have asked the state to directly start operations" The Home Minister also said that the Indian government had received assurance of cooperation from “one of the premiers" of Bhutan and Myanmar for flushing out terrorists from their territories.

Foreign affairs minister Sushma Swaraj informed him of this development this morning, Singh said appealing to the people of Assam not to term the unfortunate incident as ethnic clash. “Terrorists do not have religion, caste and region. They are only terrorists," he observed. He also informed reporters that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken the incident very seriously and announced 2 lakh each for the family members of the killed. “The PM wants to work for the country and for this region. Some forces like this are interfering with it. But we will win over these forces... Such incidents are challenges for the nation," Singh observed.

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