Hours after four low-intensity improvised explosive devices (IEDs) blasts rocked in Upper Assam in the morning hours of January 26th, 2020, the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) issued a press communique claiming that the blast was carried out by the outfit.
Several low-intensity blasts rocked parts of upper Assam within a span of 20 minutes as India marked its 71st Republic Day – two in Dibrugarh and one each on Duliajan and Sonari. Earlier there were reports of a bomb blast in Doomdooma, however, it was found to be a false lead.
“There was no damage to property and no human injury or casualty. The first blast was reported at 8:10 am and the last one around 8:25 am,” GP Singh, Assam’s Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) told reporters.
In Dibrugarh, an explosion took place at the busy Graham Bazar and another beside a gurudwara on AT Road. In Charaideo, another blast was reported infront of a shop at Tiyakghat Tiniali area near Sonari. The locals claimed that bike-borne suspected militants had lobbed a grenade and fled from the area in Sonari.
The Myanmar-based banned militant outfit ULFA-I had called a ‘dawn-to-dusk general strike’ and had asked the citizens to ‘boycott’ Republic Day celebrations in the state. At present, the ULFA-I is the only active militant outfit in the state.
The blasts come days after 644 militants from eight rebel outfits laid down arms in presence of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at a ceremony in Guwahati on January 23rd, 2020. They included 50 ULFA-I cadres.
Assam Chief Minister Sonowal condemned the serial blasts in Assam, at a time when the country is celebrating its 71st Republic Day. He said that the “cowardly attempt” shows the “frustration of the terror groups”. The Chief Minister also mentioned that the government will take the sternest action to bring the culprits to book.
Photo credit: Zee News (L) and Time8 (R)