Police said on Tuesday the IED blast at Dudhnoi in Assam’s Goalpara district that killed two people on Monday was the handiwork of banned militant outfit Ulfa (Independent).
The blast in Dudhnoi, 100 km west of Guwahati, has raised security concerns ahead of the second phase of Assam assembly election on April 11. The bomb was planted on a motorcycle and parked in front of the police station, metres away from a temporary BJP election office.
“We suspected Ulfa (I) behind the blast at Dudhnoi. The outfit had made several attempts in recent past to target security forces in Assam-Meghalaya border. We foiled all these attempts and recovered some IEDs,” Nitul Gogoi, SP of Goalpara district, said.
Gogoi also ruled out that the BJP election office was the target of the blast.
An eight-member team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) visited the blast site and collected splinters used in the blast.
The death toll in the blast has gone up to three after one injured person succumbed his injuries in the civil hospital.
Those killed in the blast have been identified as Bapan Saha, president of Bengali Chatra Federation, Dudhnoi branch, Ajit Dutta and Dipankar Saha. Three BJP workers are among the 20 injured.
Ulfa (I), which opposes the BJP on many issues, denied that it was involved in the blast. The militant outfit had also threatened the BJP over fielding a surrendered militant as the party’s candidate in the assembly election.
In an email to media houses, the outfit condemned the blast and alleged that it was a conspiracy to malign its image.
“We are no way involved in the blast at Dudhnoi,” Ulfa (I) said in the email.
The blast came after heavy polling in the first phase of the assembly elections that covered entire upper Assam, northern Assam, two hills districts and Barak valley.
In the second phase, polls would be held for 61 constituencies in the entire lower Assam, central Assam and in Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD).
A major part of lower Assam is conflict-ridden and any violence in the sensitive areas of the region could create trouble ahead of the second phase of polling.