Blasts rocks Assam on Republic Day; no casualties
Initial reports suggested the likely involvement of the banned United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent (ULFA-I) in the blasts.Updated: Jan 26, 2020 20:24 IST
Several low-intensity blasts carried out using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) rocked parts of upper Assam on Sunday within a span of 15 minutes as India marked its 71st Republic Day, officials said.
Hours later, United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) claimed responsibility for serial blasts in Assam saying it was “handiwork of the military wing” of ULFA-I. The extremist organisation had called a bandh on Republic Day, asking the residents to remain indoors.
“We had reports of five incidents but of those at one spot, there was no sign of any blast. So, we have been able to confirm four blasts—two in Dibrugarh and one each on Duliajan and Sonari,” additional director general of police (law and order), GP Singh, said.
WATCH | Serial bomb blasts amid Republic Day celebrations in Assam; none hurt
“All these are suspected low intensity improvised explosive device (IED) blasts. There was no damage to property and no human injury or casualty. The first blast was reported at 8:10am and the last one around 8:25am,” he added.
The fifth incident reported from Doomdooma has been confirmed to be a false lead, Singh informed.
“Strongly condemn the bomb blasts in a few places of Assam. This cowardly attempt to create terror on a sacred day only exhibits the frustration of the terror groups after their total rejection by the people. Our Govt will take the sternest action to bring the culprits to book,” chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal tweeted.
ULFA-I had issued a call for a “general strike” on Sunday asking citizens to abstain from the Republic Day celebrations in the state and remain indoors.
The blasts come days after 644 militants from eight rebel outfits laid down arms in front of Sarbananda Sonowal at a ceremony in Guwahati. They included 50 ULFA-I cadres.
Militant outfits in Assam and rest of the northeast routinely call for a boycott on Republic Day and Independence Day and carry out minor blasts.