(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 12, 2009
AT least ten persons were killed and over fifty injured, in a series of bomb blasts that rocked Assam on April 6, 2009. The Assam police and state administration once again failed miserably to prevent subversive activities with as many as five blasts rocking the state amidst ‘beefed up’ security arrangement in view of the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.
The first blast took pace at Santipur near Bokajan in Karbi-Anglong district in the morning without any casuality. However, the Santipur blast was followed by two back-to-back explosions in Maligaon area in Guwahati and Dhekiajulli in Sonitpur district. Earlier unidentified miscreants lobbed a grenade at a construction camp at Garobasti in Udalguri district. None was injured at Garobasti. Unidentified extremist elements also exploded a grenade outside the Mancachar police station along the Indo-Bangla border in Dhubri district in the evening and killed a police driver.
The maximum damage was caused by the powerful explosion in Maligaon in the capital city of Guwahati which claimed at least eight lives, including an eight year old girl. The bomb, suspected to be an improvised explosive device, was planted in a motorcycle, which went off around 1-30 pm at the busy Maligaon Chariali area, barely a few metress away from the Jalukbari police station. While six persons were killed instantly, one succumbed to injuries after jumping from an adjacent building which had caught fire. Another one person died of injuries at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital next morning. The deceased who were already identified, were Mousumi Khanam(8), Jahanara Begum, Narayan Ch. Das, Bhupen Kumar, Shyam Boro and Nabin Boro.
The explosion in Guwahati severely damaged vehicles parked along the road and set few buildings on fire. More than 12 two-wheelers and a four-wheeler were completely destroyed in the blast.
In less than two hours of the Maligaon blasts, another bomb went off on Hospital Road in Dhekiajuli killing one person and critically injuring four others. The bomb was kept on a bicycle parked outside an electronic shop and went off around 3-30pm.
Agitated public in Maligaon area in the city hurled empty bottles and pelted stones on the police and even tried to cause damage to the fire-brigade alleging tardy rescue work. A section of media persons were also injured in the process. The residents also shouted anti-Tarun Gogoi government slogans condemning the state government for its failure to provide security to the people. The police had to use force to bring the situation under control.
Police suspect banned ULFA extremists to be behind the spate of attacks in Maligaon, Dhekiujuli and Mancachar. The Assam government said the blasts in Guwahati, Dhekiajuli etc., appeared to have been carried out by the ULFA on the eve of its foundation day, observed on April 7, every year. However, the scheduled visit of the prime minister to Diphu in Karbi Anglong and Dibrugarh in upper Assam has been cancelled for reasons not yet known well.
The Assam state committee of the CPI(M) has condemned the bomb-blasts and demanded stern action against the culprits responsible for the heinous crime of killing and maiming innocent people. The Party state committee also held the state administration responsible for its failure to protect the lives of the common people. With the Lok Sabha election fast approaching, the deteriorating situation in Assam causes concern. The Party demanded the administration and the election commission to ensure a violence free atmosphere for free and fair elections. While demanding the nabbing of the culprits immediately, the CPI(M) also demanded adequate compensation to the blast victims.