M A I N   N E W S

Fresh blasts rock Assam; 12 killed

Guwahati, October 3
Militants today set off a string of explosions for the second successive day today in Assam killing 12 persons, including four Army men, and injuring 50 as Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil visited the state and Nagaland declaring that a long-term joint strategy would be worked out to tackle terrorism in the North-East.

A day after 25 persons were killed in blasts in nine districts, the violence spread to four more districts today with NDFB and ULFA triggering at least 10 explosions, in Tinsukhia, Udalguri, Sonitpur and Sibsagar districts.

Militants hurled a grenade at an Army patrol killing four jawans at Talap area in Tinsukhia district, official sources said.

Reports of explosions have also come from Udalgiri, Sonitpur and Sibsagar districts. Three ultras who were carrying explosives were among the dead.

Three persons were killed while 16 others injured in a bomb blast by NDFB in the Gauripur weekly market in Dhubri district, sources said.

At the Bijni fish market of Bongaigaon district, NDFB militants exploded a bomb killing one person and injuring 17 others.

A suspected extremist was killed at Puthimari under Kolaigaon police station in Udalguri district during the day.

ULFA militants exploded a bomb at Borhat at noon in Sibsagar district and killed a tea garden labourer on the spot and seriously injured two others.

The district police seized 6 kg of RDX from the militants and took 10 persons into custody.

Two NDFB militants were killed at Koilajuli in Rangapara of Sonitpur district when the bombs they were carrying went off.

Fifteen persons were injured when militants exploded a bomb in a cloth shop at the Dhekiajuli weekly market in the district.

The All-Bodo Students Union (ABSU) has called a 12-hour Assam bandh tomorrow in protest against the killing of innocent people by the extremists.

Several other organisations have also condemned the killings and extended support to tomorrow’s bandh.

DIMAPUR: A busy commercial hub of Nagaland, this town today literally wore a deserted look after yesterday’s devastating twin blasts that claimed 26 lives with only vehicles of police, security forces and church goers moving on the roads. A pall of gloom descended on this cosmopolitan commercial centre with shops and business establishments remaining closed since morning.

The twin blasts ripped through Dimapur railway station and nearby Hong Kong market killed 26 people and injured 104 others. The blast completely ravaged the railway station, the main communication point to Nagaland and Manipur.

The police said some bodies, kept in civil hospital morgue, are yet to be identified as they were badly mutilated and charred beyond recognition as perpetrators ignited RDX by using improvised explosive devices (IED).

Traffic of private vehicles was less and attendance in churches was thin today. “May be due to fear psychosis, the panic-stricken people preferred to stay inside,” said a local scribe who regularly goes to church in Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, a tight security blanket has been thrown over the entire town with police, paramilitary and army personnel intensifying patrolling.

North East Students Organisation, Naga Students Federation (NSF), Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), All-Assam Students Union (AASU) among other organizations strongly condemned the dastardly act of killing innocent people by the militants. — PTI


West Bengal on high alert

Guwahati, October 3
All northeastern states, barring Mizoram, and West Bengal were today put on high alert in view of a series of strikes by militants in Assam and Nagaland which claimed 55 lives and left over a 100 injured.

The security forces in Assam where militant outfits NDFB and ULFA left a gory trail of 29 dead and 66 injured in 12 districts since yesterday was on “maximum alert” with additional security troops deployed, the DGP, Mr P.V. Sumant, said.

Security along the railway tracks had been beefed up and patrolling intensified as the militants were targeting railway passengers, he said.

He said security had been tightened in vulnerable areas where the NDFB militants were active, particularly Kokrajhar, Udalguri, Darrang, Chirang, Sonitpur, Morigaon, Nalbari and Kamrup districts.

In Manipur, security and police posts were also put on maximum alert in the past 24 hours, official sources said in Imphal.

Sources said the security forces on patrol of sensitive areas had been instructed to report to the headquarters if they found any suspicious object or material. Bomb disposal squads were also on standby.

The security and police forces deployed on the Manipur- Nagaland and Manipur-Assam borders had been particularly asked to maintain a hawk-eyed vigil to prevent ultras from slipping into the state.

In Nagaland, police vehicles were patrolling deserted streets with all shops and establishments closed in Dimapur with the security beefed up statewide.

In Arunachal Pradesh, patrolling was on and additional check posts had been set up in some areas.

All police stations in Meghalaya were also on alert. “We have asked our boys to be alert when such incidents have taken place in Assam,” the DGP said in Shillong.

Tripura was put on high alert and security had been beefed up for a fortnight from October 1.

In Sikkim, a general alert was sounded statewide.

In West Bengal, security was tightened statewide with the authorities instructed to keep vigil on railway stations, tracks, vital installations and government establishments.

Official sources said in Kolkata, police patrolling was being introduced in strategic areas of North Bengal districts. — PTI

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