Twelve days after the wave of bombings in Assam that killed 83 people and wounded 300 more, police Tuesday said evidence suggests the involvement of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) in triggering the explosions, rejecting earlier theories of Islamist terror groups being directly involved in the attacks.
Police and officials of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the serial bombings of Oct 30 claim to have almost reached the final stage of the investigations with all evidences pointing towards the NDFB, in a ceasefire with New Delhi since 2005.
The sequence of events before and after the explosions in Guwahati (three blasts), Kokrajhar, Barpeta, and Bongaigaon are sensational.
Investigators have found that three Maruti cars used in the Guwahati bombings were all purchased by NDFB cadres, while a motorbike used in the Bongaigaon blast was also owned by a NDFB rebel.
No police official, however, would like to come on record.
According to investigators, plans for executing the serial blasts were chalked out by NDFB chairman Ranjan Daimary, believed to be based in Bangladesh. Daimary was apparently unhappy over the slow progress of the peace talks with New Delhi and did the planning with the support of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI). The outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) had a minimal role in the blasts, officials said.
"The NDFB masterminded the bombings with the ULFA giving a helping hand to the terror strike with support from the HuJI. But it was the NDFB that is primarily responsible," a police official said, requesting not to be named.
The run up to the blasts:
Oct 28: The three vehicles used for the blasts in Guwahati arrived here from different locations and were parked at a house in the Gorchuk area, in the city's outskirts.
Oct 29: All the three vehicles were packed with explosives in the same place.
Oct 30: The three cars were driven to the allotted parking lots in the city for the big terror strike. One of the cars was driven by a man named Thumri Narzary, believed to be a NDFB cadre. Police are now in possession of the call list of Thumri's mobile phone and the location from where he called based on mobile tower positions. After parking the car at the chief judicial magistrate's court, Thumri left Guwahati for an unknown location.
Thumri's mobile phone was later tracked at Rangia, 70 km from Guwahati, and then in Kokrajhar. After Kokrajhar, Thumri's mobile phone could not be tracked.
The owners of the three cars used for bombings were traced to Baksa district in western Assam. The NDFB's designated camp is located in Baksa. Police and security forces have cordoned off the NDFB's camp since Monday night, suspecting some of the kingpins of the blasts could be hiding inside the barracks.
The NDFB has denied any involvement in the explosions and has blamed the government for trying to derail the peace process.
Authorities are now contemplating an end to the three-year-old ceasefire with the NDFB after the investigations.