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Lakhimpur blast accused held

(Below) Rose Asom after his arrest in Lakhimpur. (Above) An explosives expert inspects the abandoned cylinder at Boarding Road in Sivasagar on Friday. Pictures by UB Photos

Tezpur/Sivasagar, July 26: Lakhimpur police today arrested Rose Asom, a suspected Ulfa (I) cadre and the prime accused in the July 23 grenade blast case in the town, while an improvised explosive device (IED) was recovered from under a bridge over Noa river in the Punia area of Darrang district at 2pm today.

In another incident, life was disrupted in Sivasagar following a bomb scare in the heart of the town.

S.N. Singh, inspector-general of police (law and order), told The Telegraph over phone that the police maintained strict vigil in two districts — Sonitpur and Lakhimpur — for the key accused. “The main accused was arrested this morning at Laluk in Lakhimpur. Rose came from Myanmar,” Singh said. The police recovered another live grenade from Rose. Lakhimpur police had earlier arrested a linkman (Gopal Bora) and it led to the arrest of the prime accused today.

Patrolling and frisking have been intensified across the state following the blasts in Lakhimpur and Karbi Anglong on Tuesday and Wednesday. There are inputs that militant outfits are out to create terror in the run-up to Independence Day. Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who returned to Guwahati today after cancelling his trip to South Africa, chaired a law and order review meeting at his residence.

The blasts, which left four dead, occurred at two places in the town — first on Lakhimpur Jail Road and second at Court Tinali — within 10 minutes of each other. Another grenade was planted in an oil depot that was defused by the police. After the incident, Rose left for Arunachal Pradesh and was taking shelter in Itanagar, police sources said. He used to take orders from Rajib Das who is operating from Majuli. Rose was also associated with a Sulfa cadre (Babu Gogoi), who was also arrested today. Rose told TV reporters that he was involved in the attack under instruction of his seniors. He was on his way home from Itanagar to Kasajuli in Lakhimpur district when he was arrested.

In Sivasagar, a police patrol team found an abandoned LPG cylinder along Boarding Road in the town at 3:20am today. Explosives experts from the Dinjan camp of the army ware called to check if the cylinder contained explosive materials and defuse it if necessary. After nine hours, the police found that the cylinder had been stolen from a resident of the town and left behind by the thief after he saw the patrol vehicle.