On October 27, Assam woke up to a terrifying dawn. The rather long lull, which the state had almost got used to, was broken by a violent storm as a group of heavily-armed rebels of the Bhutan-based National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) crossed the border in the Kokrajhar district and gunned down 22 unarmed villagers. They left behind 12 wounded survivors too. The very next day, a mortar bomb exploded in the highsecurity zone in Guwahati, sending the security apparatus into a complete tizzy.
The attack in Kokrajhar was, however, undoubtedly the more shocking of the two. According to survivor Babulal Yadav, the Bodo rebels had descended on Dadgiri village—about 100 yards from the border with Bhutan—at 1.30 in the morning, woken the villagers up, taken the male members of every household to a nearby pig market, lined them up and fired indiscriminately at them. While taking the villagers away, the Bodo insurgents had apparently told the women members of their families that “their men would be sent back in the morning”.