Four people have been injured in a low-intensity blast at Guwahati, Assam. The blast occurred beside a footpath near the Sukreswar Temple on the bank of the Brahmaputra river. The injured have identified as Taifuddin Ahmed, Kalpajyoti Talukdar, Binita Das and Shanku Kumar Das.
Initially, the Police had stated that they do not believe it was a bomb blast due to the nature of the blast. “We don’t suspect it to be a bomb explosion as there were no splinters found and the injuries were due to stones hitting them,” said DCP Ranjan Bhuyan. “We don’t suspect it to be a sabotage or terrorist activity from the nature of the blast. It happened in a dump of sand kept for roadside drain construction. It may have had an unexploded shell which went off today,” the DCP said.
But later in the day baned organisation ULFA (I) claimed responsibility for the blast. Commander in chief of the extremist organisation Paresh Baruah called offices of few media houses in Guwahati and informed that blast was triggered by them. He said that this was done as a protest against the central government’s decision to settle Hindu Bangladeshis in the state under the amendment to the Citizenship Act. This proposed amendment seeks to give citizenship to religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Bangladesh, which is facing a massive protest in Assam. Baruah also stated that armed struggle against the amendment will be continued by the banned outfit.
Paresh Baruah also apologised to the injured persons for their injuries. Speaking to News Live Channel, he said that the bomb went off by mistake near the Sukreswar temple, saying that their real target was some organisation opposing the NRC update process that is currently in going on in the state.
The police have refused to confirm it as a bomb before a forensic investigation of the blast site is completed. “At this time, we won’t say it was a bomb blast or a subversive act. The explosion could have also occurred from a powerful scrap. There is a heap of stones and mud at the site of the blast and the scrap was possibly underneath it. The bomb experts are coming. We will know more about the incident following an examination,” the police have said.
The injured have been rushed to the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital. It is believed that the injured were walking by the wall behind which the explosion is believed to have occurred. The blast blew away a part of the wall, damaged few two-wheelers that were parked nearby and also inflicted some damage on a city bus.
The blast site located just next to the commercial hub of the city, Fancy Bazar. And space is packed with people shopping ahead of Durga Puja. This blast will increase pressure on the city police which already on their toes due to the festivals.