A woman, who lost her husband in the 2008 serial blasts in Guwahati, breaks down at the memorial under the Ganeshguri flyover on Wednesday. (PTI)
Guwahati, Oct. 30: Chief minister Tarun Gogoi today led the state in paying homage to the victims of October 30, 2008 serial blasts on the fifth anniversary of the state’s deadliest militant strike.
Offering flowers at the memorial constructed under Ganeshguri flyover, Gogoi made an appeal to the militants to abjure violence and return to the mainstream.
Relatives and friends of the victims, social welfare minister Akon Bora, parliamentary secretary (public health engineering) Chandan Kumar Sarkar and MLAs Robin Bordoloi, Bismita Gogoi, Arati Kachari, director-general of Assam police J.N. Choudhury and Kamrup (metro) deputy commissioner Ashutosh Agnihotri also paid floral tributes to the blast victims.
“The October 30 serial blasts is the darkest chapter in the state’s history,” said Gogoi, regretting that so many lives were lost to insurgency in the state.
He said the government wants a permanent solution to the insurgency problem, which has been plaguing the state for long. “Undoubtedly, insurgency is now on the wane in the state but we will have to uproot the problem completely,” he added.
Passersby were also seen lighting candles and earthen lamps at the memorial. Seven visually impaired singers sang Deh bisaror geet (hymns about futility of materialism) and naam was also performed.
Relatives of the victims wept as they remembered their near and dear ones.
Apart from the official function, other programmes were also organised in the city to pay homage to the blast victims.
In the evening, All Assam Students Union activists lit candles at Latasil playground. They also raised anti-militancy slogans.
The Lawyers Association of Guwahati organised a sombre tribute on the campus of the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Kamrup at Kachari here. One of the three blasts in Guwahati had occurred in the CJM court complex.
Candles were also lit at Rajiv Bhawan, the state Congress headquarters here.
Altogether nine bombs had exploded simultaneously in the state that day — three in Kokrajhar, one in Bongaigaon and two at Barpeta Road. The Ranjan Daimary faction of the NDFB had allegedly carried out the blasts.
October 30, 2008: Nine serial blasts in Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon and Barpeta Road left nearly 100 dead and over 500 injured
May 2009: CBI chargesheeted 19 persons in the case, including Ranjan Daimary
May 2010: Daimary apprehended
June 2013: Daimary released on bail to facilitate talks
He is currently negotiating with the government for signing suspension of operations
The trial of the case is under way in the court of the district and sessions judge, Kamrup