The United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent has regretted killing an Assam police officer during a gunfight with security forces on Friday, The Hindu reported on Saturday.

“Our boys did not intend to kill Bhaskar Kalita, who was a son of the soil. They fired in self-defence when attacked by the Assam Police and Cobra commandos of the CRPF,” Paresh Baruah, the militant organisation’s commander-in-chief, said. “He should not have led the operation against us, but we are deeply hurt by his death.”

Thirty-four-year-old Kalita died of bullet injuries after leading a team of the Assam Police and Central Reserved Paramilitary Force during a counter-insurgency operation in eastern Assam’s Kujupathar village in Tinsukia district.

Baruah added that their fight was against the armed forces of “occupational India” and not “our people” in the Assam Police. “We also regret that the police officer’s death went against our five-year-old resolve not to attack the Assam Police,” Baruah said.