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Assam blasts kill rebels, injure boy

- NFR issues guidelines to divisions, field units

Nagaon/Tezpur, Jan. 24: Two suspected Ulfa (Independent) militants were killed in a blast in Dima Hasao district this morning when the bomb they were carrying in a vehicle exploded.

In Sonitpur district, a teenager was injured in the blast of a grenade lobbed by suspected NDFB (Songbijit) rebels last night. The incidents took place as Assam beefed up security ahead of Republic Day.

Dima Hasao superintendent of police B. Rajkhowa said the mutilated bodies of the two youths, in their thirties, were found lying by the roadside, about 7km from the industrial town of Umrangsu, soon after the improvised explosive device they are believed to have been carrying in a Maruti 800 went off around 8.30am.

An eyewitness, Bir Bahadur Chetry, told The Telegraph: “The car overtook my cycle and seconds later I heard an explosive sound. Such was the impact of the blast that the two were tossed out of the car.” The vehicle was completely damaged.

Umrangsu police believe the two were on their way to Meghalaya from Lanka in Nagaon district. The police have identified them as Sahabuddin and Aminuddin of Lanka from the PAN cards found on them.

A high-level police source in Guwahati claimed that the two were Ulfa (I) cadres and were carrying the bomb to the state capital through Meghalaya. The site of the blast is 73km from Lanka and around 250km from Guwahati.

Rajkhowa said the bodies would be sent to Haflong, the headquarters of Dima Hasao district.

In Sonitpur district, a 14-year-old daily wage earner, identified as Pradip, escaped with mild injuries when suspected NDFB (S) militants lobbed a grenade near a petrol pump at Dhekiajuli around 11.30 last night, police sources said. This morning, a grenade was found by a scrap dealer a few metres from yesterday’s blast site.

Dhekiajuli is 35km from Tezpur, the district headquarters of Sonitpur, and 145km from Guwahati.

A senior police officer of the district, requesting anonymity, said operations were on to nab a 26-member group of NDFB (S) militants, which, according to intelligence reports, is hiding in the northern part of Sonitpur district in a bid to carry out subversive activities.

The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has taken up special security measures ahead of Republic Day and issued detailed guidelines to the divisions and Railway Protection Force (RPF) field units. The steps will be taken in co-ordination with Government Railway Police (GRP), local police, intelligence agencies and civil and railway administration, a release issued by NFR chief public relations officer Sugato Lahiri stated.

“Random checks of passengers’ luggage with the help of sniffer dogs have been intensified in railway stations. Checks are also being carried out at the entry and exit points of important railway stations,” Lahiri said.

The NFR has started joint motor trolley patrol by the RPF, GRP and police in vulnerable and important railway sections. All passenger trains are being piloted in the Lumding-Badarpur hill section. Trains are escorting important trains and additional security staff has been placed at important stations.


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