M A I N   N E W S

64 killed, 364 hurt in Assam blasts
12 serial explosions in 4 dists
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Security personnel carry a body after a bomb blast near Ganeshguri flyover
Security personnel carry a body after a bomb blast near Ganeshguri flyover; and (below) vehicles blaze after powerful bombs exploded near the District Courts in Guwahati on Thursday. — PTI/AFP photo

Guwahati, October 30
In one of the worst terror strikes in the country in recent times, at least 61 (64, according to agencies) persons were killed and 364 injured, many of them seriously, when terrorists detonated 12 serial explosions in four districts — Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon and Barpeta — in Assam around 11.30 a.m. today.

A curfew was clamped on Guwahati city for over five hours following the blasts.

Enraged by delayed action by the police and the state fire service after the blasts in Guwahati, a mob attacked police and fire service personnel and damaged 12 police vehicles and five engines near Ganeshguri while a police vehicle was damaged near the scene near Panbazar police station.

Vehicles blaze after powerful bombs exploded near the District Courts in Guwahati on Thursday.

The mob also damaged an ambulance of a private nursing home that was coming to pick up injured from Ganeshguri. As the mob frenzy against the police and security forces threatened to spread to different parts of the city with people holding processions in different parts, the administration clamped a curfew in the city around 1 p.m. which was relaxed at 5-30 p.m. after the situation was brought under control.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi while condemning the explosions said it would not be proper at this moment to point at the involvement of any particular terrorist group and investigation was in progress.

A team of the National Security Guard (NSG) arrived here to join the probe. Union home minister Shivraj Patil is scheduled to come here tomorrow. Official sources said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would visit the state on Saturday to take stock of the situation. Dr Singh represents Assam in the Rajya Sabha.

Chief Minister’s media adviser Debo Kumar Bora informed that at least 61 persons had so far been killed and 364 injured in the blasts. He said 31 persons were killed and about 264 injured in six simultaneous blasts in Guwahati city — three in Ganeshguri near the state capital complex at Dispur, one near the office of the Kamrup deputy Commissioner and two near Panbazar police station, near the Fancy Bazar market.

The first blast took place in the Ganeshguri area below the flyover on the Guwahati-Shillong road. The scene is within a radius of 1 km from the Chief Minister’s office in the state capital complex. The explosion killed at least 20 persons on the spot and injured 150, besides triggering a massive fire which destroyed over 50 vehicles.

At least eight persons were killed in the blast that rocked the parking area between the Kamrup deputy commissioner’s office and the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Panbazar in the heart of the city. The bomb was planted in a car. Three persons were killed and many injured in the two blasts in front of Pan Bazar police station near Fancy Bazar. The bombs were suspected to have been planted in Maruti cars.

At least,19 persons were killed and 50 injured in three simultaneous blasts in the main vegetable and fish markets in Kokrajhar town in western Assam. Eleven more persons were killed and over 50 injured in two blasts on the Barpeta Road-one in the weekly wholesale vegetable market and another near the Choudhury market complex — in Barpeta district of lower Assam.

More than 10 persons were injured in a blast in Bongaigoan town in the district. The bomb which had been planted on a motorcyle exploded when the police tried to defuse it.




Shortage of blood hits victims’ treatment
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, October 30
The shortage of blood has hit the treatment of hundreds of blast victims in three Guwahati hospitals, including Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH), forcing the authorities to call for voluntary blood donation. The GMCH has given the telephone numbers, 0361-2227700/01/02 and 0361-2261630.Kin of a large number of injured were seen looking for donors in various hospitals.

The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 3 lakh each for kin of those killed in the blasts.Each of the injured will be paid Rs 50,000.The government has announced that it will bear the medical expenses of the critically injured who have to be shifted outside the state for better treatment.

Meanwhile, the Asom Gana Parishad(AGP) has announced that it will observe a ‘black day’ in protest against the blasts.AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary demanded the resignation of the chief minister for the explosions.

Opposition BJP legislator Ranjit Dutta accused the government of failing to anticipate such disasters despite ample indications from the intelligence agencies.He said the state government should have been more serious about ‘jehadi threat’ to the state.



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