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Since 1st March, 1999
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Revenge whiff in explosion

Guwahati, Nov. 21: A businessman’s refusal to pay up an extortion amount to the National Democratic Front of Boroland may have led the outfit to trigger the blast in front of Choudhury Complex at Barpeta Road in lower Assam on October 30.

Police got the “revenge whiff” in the blast case when a linkmen of the outfit, Anup Kumar Boro, confessed that the outfit’s cadres had planted the bomb in front of the commercial complex to avenge its owner Bidyananda Choudhury’s refusal to pay money.

Choudhury is also the chairman of Barpeta Road Municipality.

The police recorded Boro’s confession under Section 164 of the criminal procedure code (CrPC) in the presence of judicial magistrate Rajneesh Bora at the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Barpeta town on November 13.

The 24-year-old said he knew a number of NDFB members through his friend Mridul Gayari, whose brother, Ritikhan is the “commander” of NDFB’s fourth battalion.

Ritikhan allegedly masterminded the blasts at Barpeta Road and Ganeshguri in Guwahati.

Boro admitted that through his acquaintances in the NDFB he was aware of the militant group’s “activities”, including their funds collection drives in Barpeta district and nearby areas.

“Nearly three months ago, I met NDFB cadre Madai at Mridul’s residence at Barpeta Road. Madai told me that chairman of Barpeta Road Municipality, Bidyananda Choudhury, had refused to pay any donation to the NDFB and therefore, they will take revenge on him,” said Boro, a resident of Dologaon village in Barpeta district.

He was arrested a few days after the October 30 serial blasts for his alleged links with the NDFB.

In his statement to the police, Boro said Madai told him that they (NDFB cadres) would carry out a powerful bomb blast in front of Choudhury’s three-storey commercial complex whenever they get an opportunity to avenge Choudhury’s refusal to pay up.

The bomb was kept on a motorcycle parked in front of the commercial complex.

The bike, which belonged to Ranjit Ramchiary, was taken away by the NDFB two years ago.

Ramchiary surrendered before the police at his village in Anandbazar two days ago.

A senior police officer said the NDFB had served a demand note of Rs 25 crore to Choudhury about four to five months ago.

“When the businessman refused to pay, the NDFB climbed down from Rs 25 crore to Rs 50 lakh but Choudhury still refused to pay. This enraged the NDFB cadres who decided to teach him a lesson,” the officer said.

The progress of investigation into the Barpeta blasts now depends on the arrest of Ritikhan and Madai, suspected to have fled to Bhutan after triggering the blasts, he said.

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