Bomb blast kills 7 in Assam

136.jpgA bomb exploded in a busy market area of Athgaon, Guwahati killing 7 people and injuring almost 30. ULFA, the banned outfit, seems to be behind the deadly blast which created panic across the city. Police officials are already probing an enquiry into the blast.

 

The ULFA, which has been fighting since 1979 for an independent homeland in Assam, has set off more than 20 bombs over the past two months, police officials said.

 

The blast spot was a few metres away from Marwari Maternity Hospital and four popular schools. Five of the seven dead have been identified as Partha, Nirmal Dey, M Ali, Nareshwar Deka and Muhammad Anwar Hussein.

 

In Saturday’s blast, the explosives were packed in a three-wheeled auto-rickshaw, said S.N. Singh, police chief of Guwahati. Officials believe the incidents might be pegged to the state government’s one-year anniversary of holding power, which was to be marked Sunday with public events.

 

Peace talks between the ULFA and the Indian government broke down in September last year after a six-week truce. ULFA responded with violence, killing more than 70 Hindi-speaking migrant workers across Assam.

 

“It took place in front of our house. I saw a blood-stained body hit the front gate and a severed hand flew into our living room,” he said. Sarat Chandra Rana, a survivor, said he and his son were in their car when they heard the explosion. “We took the road to avoid traffic. I slammed the brakes as soon as it happened.” Though his car was extensively damaged, they escaped with just a few bruises and cuts.

Residents of Fancy Bazar and Aathgaon – two commercial areas – took to streets in protest against the ULFA-orchestrated violence. They shouted slogans and warned the banned outfit. They sought adequate protection from the government, which has so long been unsuccessful in taming ULFA bombers in the city.

 

Meanwhile the Centre has sent adequate paramilitary forces to Assam.

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