Two bicycles laden with explosives near a police station in Nalbari, some 60 km from Guwahati, turned a peaceful Sunday morning into “thick black smoke with nails and metal pieces flying in all directions”, in the words of Mohhamed Zamed Ali (60), who owns a paan shop near the police station.
“An army jawan asked us to go away (after the first blast), but nobody moved and this happened,” Ali, who is admitted to Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH), said, pointing to injuries on his abdomen.
Arup Sarma, a 40-year-old insurance agent, was about to enter an eatery near the police station, when there was an explosion.
“There were very few people around and the first bicycle bomb left six people injured,” Sarma said.
In seconds, the spot was full of people curious to know what had happened — but the police allegedly did not clear the area for several minutes.
Then the second bicycle bomb went off.
“The second one was lesser in intensity,” Sarma, who was hit by splinters in the hands and legs, said. “But its impact was more because of the presence of some 100 people attracted by the first.”
The first blast could have been carried out to attract a crowd, and the second one was timed to kill onlookers, police officers said.
The police are yet to determine the kind of explosives used.