A blast near a small hotel here at 5.45 pm on Tuesday left one person dead and 16 injured. The blast site is one and a half km from the venue of a rally External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherji was to address. Mukherji was addressing a rally elsewhere in the city at the time of the blast.
Police suspected that the bomb was planted — probably by militants belonging to the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) — on a motorcycle and parked near the hotel on the Joyotikuchi-Lokhora Road. Debajit Deuri, additional superintendent of police, confirmed that it was an indigenous explosive device. He said that the motorcycle on which the bomb was planted was registered in Nalbari, an ULFA stronghold in lower Assam.
Despite the blast, Mukherji addressed two election rallies in the city in the evening. Mukherji is on a two-day election campaign in the state.