On the eve of the Tarun Gogoi government's one year in office, the proscribed ULFA on Saturday triggerred a powerful blast in Guwahati's Athgaon area killing seven persons and injuring 30 others which prompted an irate crowd to pelt stones at police.
Police said the bomb, kept inside an auto-rickshaw near the Marwari Maternity Hospital, went off around 10.45 am killing five passersby and shoppers on the spot in the busy commercial area.
The blast also caused a LPG gas cylinder being transported at that time in a cycle-rickshaw, to burst, police said. Altogehter 30 people were injured in the two blasts. Two vehicles and two auto-rickshaws parked there were damaged, police said.
Chaos prevailed as the people attempted to flee. Police cordonerd off the area and the injured were rescued. Twenty-two of the injured were admitted to the Gauhati Medical College Hospital, one to the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Civil Hospital and others at various other private hospitals, police said. Local people in the area and nearby Fancy Bazar, the commercial hub of the N-E Region, took to the streets to demand police action against the repeated blasts.
The crowd urged the shopkeepers in Fancy Bazar to down their shutters as some of the agitators pelted stones at the police who attempted to pacify them. The agitators later dispersed, police said.