Kokrajhar, Nov. 13: A 13-year-old boy died and 12 other teenagers were injured when they accidentally picked up a live explosive near Sukanjuli firing range under Darangajuli police station in Tamulpur subdivision of Baksa district today.
The group of 13 teenagers, including two girls, had gone into a forest near the Sukanjuli firing range to collect firewood when they came across the explosive lying on the ground.
The victim, Kumar Biswakarma, died on the spot and four of the 12 were seriously injured.
The four have been identified as Uma Biswakarma, 17, Keram Biswakarma, 11, Sunil Kharia, 17, and Suraj Kharia, 12.
They were first taken to a hospital at Darangajuli but later referred to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital.
The rest of them received minor injuries and were released after first aid.
Two of the boys — Kumar and Kisan Boro — first noticed the object lying on the ground and picked it up.
A girl in the group, identified as Sushma Biswakarma, however, urged the boys to throw it away saying it was an explosive.
When they refused, she snatched it away from Kumar who was holding it and threw it.
“Kumar, however, went to picked it up again saying he could sell it and get a price. As he bent down, it exploded killing him instantly,” a local source said quoting some the boys.
This is not the first time such an incident occurred in the area.
The villagers, who live in the vicinity of the firing range, usually go the place to collect the unexploded shells used by security forces at the firing range and sell them.
“When the security forces practise at the range, the villagers usually wait to collect the unexploded bullets and sell them. Many a times they get hit by the bullets,” said a police official.
In 2008, a 42-year-old man, Birash Rajbongsi, was killed and Baukunda Barman was injured after bullets from the firing range at Sukanjuli hit them accidentally during a routine army practice session.
The villagers at Lebra Santipur, which is near the firing range, said Rajbongsi and Barman were working on their fields when the bullets hits them.
In the past 10 years, around 50 people were killed when bullets hit them accidentally or while collecting them, the villagers added.