A plan to blow up parts of garrison town Tezpur was foiled after the army recovered six powerful improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from a bus. The bombs, weighing between 3-5 kilos each, were hidden in okra-filled vegetable bags.
According to Sonitpur district officials, the bombs were loaded at Kharupetia town in adjoining Darrang district and were possibly meant for a subversive statement close to the army's 4th Corps headquarters at Tezpur. The security forces suspect a trio of organizations behind the IEDs - the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), Muslim United Students Association (MUSA) and the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).
The police had a fortnight back intercepted a message from Bangladesh-based NDFB chief Ranjan Daimary to carry out at least 10 bomb strikes across Assam. The NDFB, though in ceasefire since 2005, has been active in Darrang and Sonitpur districts.
According to the police, it was also behind the October 30 serial blasts last year killing over 90 persons in Guwahati and three more towns in western Assam. The CBI subsequently filed a chargesheet against 19 persons including Daimary.
The MUSA, on the other hand, was formed after the communal clashes in Darrang district in October last year between alleged Bangladeshi settlers and indigenous tribals. A couple of MUSA activists were subsequently caught with explosives in an around Tezpur.
"We are also not ruling out the ULFA in the attempted bid to blow up Tezpur, particularly since the recovery of the six bombs is ahead of their bandh call on Thursday," said a senior police officer in Guwahati.