A powerful bomb, meant to be triggered at the directors general of police (DGPs) conference in Assam this weekend, was recovered from a Guwahati-bound train on Monday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh are scheduled to address the meet, where all chiefs of state police and heads of paramilitary forces deliberate upon pressing issues in internal security.
The bomb, a 6-kg IED made from high-grade TNT, was recovered by a team of local police and the National Investigation Agency from the Alipurduar (West Bengal)-Kamakhya (Guwahati) Intercity Express at Kendukona, 40km west of Guwahati.
“As per our information, two IEDs, intended for the DGPs conference, were being sent from West Bengal to Guwahati. At 10.46am, the local police and the NIA recovered one of the two IEDs from the Intercity Express. The person bringing the IEDs could not be arrested,” said a central counter-terror official requesting anonymity.
HT broke the story just hours after the operation. The second IED is unaccounted for. The official added that the NIA had received information that two IEDs were being brought to Guwahati from Bengal for a strike on an ‘important official meeting’ which will be attended by the PM. It was immediately shared with the Assam police and a joint operation was mounted recover the IEDs.
The bomb was found in a bag near the toilet of the fourth compartment of the train. It was covered in a towel and had wires sticking out of it. Army bomb experts were called in to defuse the bomb and the Guwahati Railway station was put on high alert. Northeastern frontier railway spokesman Nripen Bhattacharya confirmed the recovery.
The Intercity Express was scheduled to arrive at Kamakhya station at 11.15 am.
The annual conference, which is being held outside Delhi for the first time since its inception in 1920, will be inaugurated by Rajnath Singh on November 29 and will be addressed by Modi the next day. Chief ministers of all the North Eastern states and Sikkim have also been invited to attend the meet.