Guwahati, Jan 27: On Thursday, when the entire nation was celebrating the 68th Republic Day, multiple blasts rocked Assam and neighbouring Manipur. Seven blasts occurred in Assam and two in Manipur. Fortunately, both the states did not report any casualties.
The United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent), which is still fighting for a 'free' Assam, immediately claimed responsibility for these improvised explosive device-triggered blasts.
The Paresh Barua-led ULFA (I) said that the blasts were "symbolic protests" against "colonial forces" in Delhi. All the blasts occurred in the Upper region of the state, where the ULFA (I) still maintains enough sway.
Reports say three blasts rocked Sivasagar district, two blasts occurred in Charideo district, while one each were triggered in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts.
Generally, in previous occasions, bomb blasts in Assam always proved fatal, killing people in their wake. This time, all the blasts were low-intensity in nature. Moreover, all the bombs were placed in isolated areas like paddy fields. This shows that the outfit's intention was to send a signal to both the state and the central governments.
These blasts, once again exposes lack of preparedness on the part of security forces to deal with terror attacks in the northeastern state. Assam has long been a victim of terror. Of late, before the coming of the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state last year, terror activities were considerably reduced during the Congress's rule.
Former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi criticised incumbent CM Sarbananda Sonowal for the blasts.
"I strongly condemn the blasts in Upper Assam today; the perpetrators will be brought to justice at the earliest," Sonowal tweeted.
"It is condemnable. It was an act of those who do not want peace and stability," he told reporters after attending the Republic Day function in Guwahati.