15 cadres of Bodo terror outfit convicted in 2008 Assam serial bomb blast case

The serial bomb blasts in Assam in 2008 were done by the Bodo militant organisation NDFB

The special CBI court in Guwahati today delivered its verdict in the serial bomb blast case which had rocked the state of Assam on October 30, 2008. Out of 22 people named in the chargesheet, 15 were presented in the court, and all of them were  convicted by the court.

The list of convicts includes Ranjan Daimary, chief of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), a banned extremist organisation. The court will pronounce the sentence for the convicts on January 30. All the accused named in the case are NDFB cadres. While the 22 persons have been named in the chargesheet, only 15 were convicted as 3 of them have died in encounters with security forces, and rest 4 are absconding.

Assam was hit by a series of bomb blasts on 30th October in 2008, with at least 10 blasts that took place in Guwahati and other towns in lower Assam. The blasts occurred at Guwahati, Barpeta Road, Bongaigaon and Kokrajhar. A total of 81 persons lost their lives in the blasts. Three bombs went off in Guwahati on that day, at Ganeshguri, Panbazar and the parking lot of CJM court.

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Timers were used to trigger the blasts, and all the blasts took place within a span of 30 minutes. High amounts of RDX or other plastic explosives like C4 were used in the attacks.

Initially, it was suspected that jihadi elements were behind the blasts, as Bodo terror organisations had not done any major activity for a long time during that period, and Jihadi terrorism was on the rise. But after starting the investigation, police concluded that NDFB was behind the blasts. Police had found evidence NDFB chief Ranjan Daimary had given the orders for the attacks.

NDFB is an armed separatists outfit seeking a sovereign Bodoland for Bodo people. While Assam saw widespread protests from various Bodo organisations demanding a separate Bodo state during the 1990s, NDFB wanted a separate country for the community. It conducted several terror activities in that decade. The demand for separate state reduced after the formation of e Bodoland Territorial Council in 2003. Gradually the militant activities also came down and NDFB entered into a ceasefire agreement with the government in 2005. According to the agreement, NDFB members were kept in designated camps protected by security forces, and they were required to give up their arms.

Along with that peace talks stated between the group and the government. But apparently Ranjan Daimary was not happy with the progress of the talks, and that’s why he planned the serial blasts in 2008. After his name came up in the case, the group split into two, pro-talk faction NDFB(P) and anti-talk faction NDFB(R). NDFB(R) split further in 2012 when I K Songbijit formed a NDFB(S), which is the most dreaded faction at present.

Ranjan Daimary, who was out on bail, was arrested immediately after the verdict of the court.

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