|Security personnel inspect the IED blast site in Bongaigaon on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos
Bongaigaon, Aug. 28: Suspected NDFB militants triggered a powerful blast near Mayapuri cinema here today while people hit the streets in Udalguri to protest against the shooting of a petty trader.
Though police had to baton charge the protesters in Udalguri, no one was injured. The blast, too, was relatively harmless. A shop was damaged but no one was injured.
The bomb, planted on a bicycle near the shop, Naveen Store, went off around 12.05pm. The impact scattered items in the shop and made two big holes in the wall.
Police said the IED might have been kept there for shifting to a crowded place in the evening. Had the rebels succeeded in doing that there would have been casualties.
Bongaigaon superintendent of police Abhijit Bora said, “An NDFB hand is suspected in the blast”. But he did not name the faction involved.
Naveen Store owner Sampat Lal said, “I did not notice the bicycle when I opened the shop around 8.15 am. Someone must have kept it there when I was busy inside the shop.”
In Udalguri town, hundreds of people staged a rally, protesting against the attack on a petty businessman. Two unidentified gunmen on a bicycle had shot at tea stall owner Gunin Das last evening, seriously injuring him.
The protesters today moved towards the national highway that passes through the town and later tried to move towards the deputy commissioner’s office. The police had to resort baton charge and blank firing to disperse them. No one, however, was injured.
The protesters criticised the police for failing to protect the life and property of the common people. They urged the district administration to be vigilant and demanded that the police give them an assurance that the culprits would be arrested immediately.
The protesters also burned tyres at a few places in Kokrajhar town and forced business establishments to close their shutters in protest against the incident.
Security was intensified in all four BTAD districts and neighbouring districts in lower Assam after the blast in Bongaigaon.
A senior police officer in Kokrajhar said security had been tightened following intelligence warnings about some militants groups trying to carry out blasts and sabotage in the area.
The Udalguri unit of AASU and seven other local organisations will stage a three-hour-long demonstration in the Bishnu Rabha Krishti Sangha in Udalguri on Friday in protest against extortion, murder, kidnapping and rampant use of illegal arms in the district.