TWELVE PEOPLE were killed and 53 injured in twin blasts in Guwahati on Sunday. Police suspect the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) was behind the explosions.
Senior superintendent of police Nitul Gogoi said the first blast ripped through the busy Chaigoli area in Fancy Bazaar, a crowded business hub, at 6.30 p.m. "It was a high-intensity blast.
We suspect ULFA's hand," he said. Five people were killed immediately while three died of their injuries on the way to the Guwahati Medical College. Forty-five people were seriously hurt.
The second explosion took place 10 minutes later. Two motorcycle-borne men suspected to be ULFA militants lobbed a grenade at a group of people at Mathghoria on the outskirts of the city.
Four people were killed and eight injured. Calling the blasts an act cowardice, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said violence could never achieve any goal.
Singh was apprised of the situation by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who was in Delhi. The Union Home Ministry will convene a high-level meeting on Monday to discuss the Assam situation. A meeting of the Unified Command comprising the army and paramilitary forces will be held in Guwahati.