| A tyre burns in the middle of a road in Guwahati on Friday. (PTI)
Oct. 20: Two police officers escaped without so much as a scratch on their bodies despite being hurled 10 feet in the air in their vehicle when Ulfa militants triggered a blast near Moran town of Dibrugarh district.
Ironically, the incident at Rangrangia village occurred in the midst of a statewide bandh called by the People’s Committee for Peace Initiatives in Assam in protest against the delay in holding direct Delhi-Ulfa peace talks.
Another possible disaster was averted when a CRPF patrol team detected an explosive device on a rail track near Tihu in Lower Assam. Movement of trains between Kaithalkuchi and Tihu stations of the Rangia division of Northeast Frontier Railway was suspended for over four hours.
Yesterday, suspected Ulfa militants gunned down a former member of the disbanded Bodo Liberation Tigers, Nagen Boro, at Bamonjuli in Udalguri district. The incident set off alarm bells because surrendered members of the Bodo Liberation Tigers, once the dominant militant group in the Bodo heartland, had only recently warned Ulfa against underestimating them.
In Moran, police officers Makhan Bora and Nityananda Borgohain were left shaken but not scarred in the major incident of the day. Bora, officer-in-charge of Moran police station, and Borgohain, the circle inspector, were returning after leading an operation in a village when the militants targeted the two police vehicles. Although the Mahindra Bolero in which the officers were travelling was not blown to smithereens by the explosion on Borphukon Road, the vehicle leapt in the air before landing back on its wheels. Nobody was wounded.
Sources said a remote-controlled device was used to trigger the blast. The militants exchanged fire with the police team after the explosion but there was no casualty or injury on either side. Senior police officials from Dibrugarh and Sivasagar reached the site soon and launched a search for the militants.
Elsewhere in the state, everything was quiet except for stray incidents of PCPIA activists burning tyres and throwing stones at the police on the streets of Guwahati. Several activists were rounded up.
Interestingly, the 10-hour bandh failed to prevent the release of Farhan Akhtar’s much-hyped remake of the Chandra Barot film Don in Guwahati. The first show of the film, featuring Shah Rukh Khan, drew a large audience.
A staffer at Anuradha Cinema said there was a 60 per cent turnout at the first show, unusual on a bandh day.
Public transport, offices, private banks, educational and financial institutions remained closed.