2 consecutive blasts in Sonitpur kill 2
Rebels on the run lobbed a grenade at a crowded rural market in Assam’s Sonitpur district Thursday afternoon. The blast around 3 pm, believed to be a reaction to the crackdown on militant leaders in Bangladesh, claimed two persons and injured over 30.india Updated: Dec 11, 2009 02:14 IST
Rebels on the run lobbed a grenade at a crowded rural market in Assam’s Sonitpur district Thursday afternoon. The blast around 3 pm, believed to be a reaction to the crackdown on militant leaders in Bangladesh, claimed two persons and injured over 30.
Officials said the assailants chose the Gorubandha weekly market at Missamari for maximum impact. The market, 164 km northeast of this State capital, is within 100 metres of a police outpost and an army camp.
“We suspect members of NDFB (National Democratic Front of Bodoland) to be behind the attack, but the picture will be clearer after the police probe deeper,” said Sonitpur Deputy Commissioner Rajendra Prasad. The blast almost coincided with the rumoured arrest of NDFB chairman Ranjan Daimary in Bangladesh.
The NDFB, on talks mode since 2005, was involved in the serial blasts that killed 87 persons across four Assam urban centres on October 30 last year. The Missamari area has been one of its strongholds, and the outfit’s mercenaries had on October 4 this year massacred 12 people at Bhimajuli village in the district.
But the involvement of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) – it had along with NDFB and three other outfits in the Northeast warned of action after the arrest of ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa last Friday – has not been ruled out. However, the outfit’s commander-in-chief Paresh Barua has via email denied involvement in the blast.
The ULFA was accused of exploding two bombs in western Assam’s Nalbari town on November 22. The twin blasts that killed eight persons followed the arrests of two key ULFA leaders – ‘foreign secretary’ Sashadhar Choudhury and ‘finance secretary’ Chitrabon Hazarika.
According to the district’s Superintendent of Police Jitmal Doley, the blast injured at least 20 persons who were rushed to Kanaklata Civil Hospital in Tezpur town (17 km west of the blast site and headquarters of the army’s 4th Corps). Hospital officials put the figure at over 30.
Two of the injured died in the hospital. One of them has been identified as eight-year-old Anuj Kumar Gaur. The condition of three more children is said to be serious.