The Prime Minister’s favourite vehicle — the Maruti 800 — seems to have staged a comeback as a car bomb.
The M800 was the most treasured vehicle when the ULFA made its presence felt in 1990, almost 11 years after its birth. Militants would snatch M800s from owners and use them for various subversive operations. It subsequently fell from grace as the outfit’s getaway car until one was used as a bomb prior to the 33rd National Games last year. It turned out to be a token blast, killing some 300 birds on a tree.
Though officials abstained from pinning Thursday’s serial blasts on the outfit — which has issued a denial — they are perplexed by the car bombs.
“We suspect M800s were used in the three major blast sites in the city, but since many cars were damaged, we can only confirm later,” IGP (Central Western Range) G.P. Singh told Hindustan Times.
Singh added that the police would seek the help of an NSG team to ascertain if the cars were used as bombs. The team arrived here on Thursday afternoon.
In recent blasts across the country, most of the explosives were either hidden in bicycles or motorised two-wheelers. The ULFA, in fact, was one of the first to use the bicycle to trigger blasts. Police and paramilitary forces have accordingly been checking bicycles and motorbikes at checkpoints. “We were mostly lax with four wheelers, particularly the privately-owned ones,” said a senior police officer.