More than thousands of tourists were trapped in the crossfire while driving the famous Still-well road i.e NH-153 on Sunday morning, when an Assam Rifle’s Road opening party just ahead of the tourists was ambushed by a group of militants in Warabasti on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border at Jagun in Tinsukia districts.
The tourists were on the visit towards the concluding day of the three-day Pangshau Pass winter festival in Nampong in Arunachal’s Changlang districts right at the Indo-Myanmar border.
Two jawans were killed and three others were critically injured in this operation while militants ambushed the vehicles with Rocket propelled Grenades (PRGS) and sprayed bullets. They also took away three automatic rifles from the slain Assam Rifles jawans.
“Two Assam Rifles jawan dead, three critically injured and in counter operations two militants whose identity is yet to be ascertained have also been neutralized and two automatic weapons seized massive operations underway, Manipur-based,” said Mukesh Sahay DGP Assam.
The ULFA (I) faction led by Paresh Barua and CorCom (Coordination CommitteeManipur-based militants groups has claimed responsibility for the attack. These groups are also part of the United Liberation Front of Western South Asia (UNLFW), a joint platform of all the northeast militant groups allegedly having their bases in Sagaing division of Northern Myanmar.
Meanwhile, massive counter operations have been launched in the area, the Indo-Myanmar border has also been sealed and massive reinforcement has been sent, police sources added.
Heavy VIP movements were noticed on this stretch of the NH-153 during these few days of the winter festival. Meanwhile, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju who was supposed to go to the festival today canceled his trip after the attack.
Several tourist carrying vehicles were stranded between Nampong in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh and Jagun in Assam following the militant’s attack.