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Assam: 4 killed, 50 hurt in grenade blast
K Anurag in Guwahati |
March 16, 2008 19:13 IST
Four persons were killed and 54 others injured when suspected militants belonging to the United Liberation Front of Assam lobbed a powerful grenade at a festive gathering of Mising tribe at Jonai town in Dhemaji district of North Assam late Saturday night.
Police informed that the grenade went off amid a 500-strong crowd that was celebrating the spring festival of the Mising tribe inside the premises of a local cultural centre.
Fourteen seriously injured persons, including two critically injured, were shifted to Assam Medical College in Dibrugarh.
Police launched a manhunt in the area to nab the culprits involved in the blast even as angry locals pounced upon a 16-year-old boy suspecting him to be the one engaged by the ULFA to hurl the grenade. The boy was seriously injured in the counter-attack.
The ULFA has rocked the state with a series of explosion in the run up to its 'Army Day' on Sunday, killing seven persons and injuring over 70 in the process during last week.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued on Sunday, the banned outfit denied its hands behind the blast and stated that it was the handiwork of 'forces' that were out to defame the image of the ULFA and trigger conflicts between different groups of people in the state.
The ULFA has taken a fresh vow to 'liberate Assam' on its 'Army Day' on Sunday and stated that it was ready for talks with India and plebiscite to find a solution to the 'Asom-India conflict'.
In a statement released through e-mail on its 'Army Day' and meant for its cadres, fugitive ULFA 'chief of staff' Paresh Baruah declared: "We must establish our rights to freedom. War is obvious. Victory demand valour and sacrifice. Our freedom is inevitable. We would reach our goal very soon. This is our belief. ULFA is indispensable part of Assam's existence."