Police on Friday arrested eight people on suspicion of being involved in the IED blast that claimed two lives at Demow in upper Assam’s Sivasagar district.
The persons taken into police custody were Pankaj Bora, an employee of the hardware shop, Nitul Hazarika, Prabhat Khanikar, Kishore Patel, staff of Demow petrol pump, Jiyarul Hussain, Bedanta Nath, Tangbhiu from Dimapur and Izzal. According to police officials, arrested Bedanata Nath is an ex-ULFA cadre.
The officer in charge of Demow police station, Sanjib Baruah said on the basis of call record they detained the persons. “From their call records we have found that they have talked with the ULFA (I) cadres. We are interrogating them,” he said.
State power minister Tapan Kumar Gogoi accompanied by Sivasagar Deputy Commissioner Pallav Gopal Jha on Friday visited in Sivasagar and met the grief stricken families of the two victims. Gogoi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each for the deceased family members.
“Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal instructed me to come here and met the victims’ families. We condemned such act against innocent people. Those who have done such barbaric act will be booked under law and stringent punishment should be taken against them. Police is investigating the case and the perpetrators will be booked under law,” Minister Gogoi said.
Two Hindi-speaking persons—identified as Anup Gupta and Kamal Agrawal–were killed on Thursday evening in the blast inside a hardware store on Nitai road in Demow Chariali in Upper Assam’s Sivasagar district.
Gupta, who came to Agrawal’s hardware store to buy some materials, died on the spot in the blast. Critically injured Agrawal was rushed to Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH) at Dibrugarh, where he was declared brought dead.
Police suspect the role of the United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) (ULFA-I) behind the incident.
Assam Police director general (home guards and civil defence) and in charge of special branch, Pallab Bhattacharyya said that ULFA (I) is suspected to have carried out the explosion as last year they had demanded money from Agrawal.
“The blast has been carried out by Ulfa (I) and we have information that the persons involved have sneaked into Nagaland after the crime,” Bhattacharya was quoted as saying by TOI.