Upper Assam serial blasts
Security personnel at a blast site in Dibrugarh. Image credit - Northeast Now

Police have detained a total of 17 people for interrogation from Dibrugarh and Charaideo districts in connection with the Upper Assam serial blasts.

While 10 people were detained by Dibrugarh police, the 7 other people were detained by Charaideo police.

Five low-intensity bombs exploded on Sunday in Upper Assam during the 71at Republic Day celebrations.

Two blasts took place in Dibrugarh town at around 8 am on Sunday.

Also read: Five blasts rock Assam on Republic Day

While a bomb exploded at Graham Bazar near a garbage dump along NH 37, the other bomb exploded near the boundary wall of Sikh National School at Marwari Patty.

The third blast took place at Peopoltol Tiniali in Duliajan at around 8.05 am in which a footpath was damaged.

Another explosion was triggered near Koliapani bridge at Doomdooma in Tinsukia district.

Also read: ULFA (I) claims responsibility for Upper Assam blasts

The fifth blast took place near a shop at Teok ghat at Sonari in Charaideo district.

“Seventeen persons have been detained so far and they are being interrogated in connection with the incidents of blasts,” a senior police official told Northeast Now on Monday.

The additional director general of police (law and order), GP Singh, also visited the blast sites at Dibrugarh on Monday.

“We are trying to find out their connection with the ULFA-I since the outfit has claimed responsibility for the blasts. All the blasts were of low intensity,” the police officer added.

The first blast was reported at Teok ghat and three explosions followed soon after in Dibrugarh district.

Police said the two blasts at Dibrugarh town and the one at Duliajan were carried out with timer-fitted Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

The blast at Sonari is said to have been caused by a grenade as locals witnessed two motorcycle-borne youths lobbing the device and speeding away.

United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) in a statement, signed by Lieutenant Joy Asom of its publicity wing, claimed that all the blasts in three districts were carried out by the outfit.

While four blasts took place in Dibrugarh and Charaideo, it is assumed that the third district the ULFA leader was referring to was Tinsukia where an explosion supposedly took place under a bridge at Doomdooma at around the same time as the other four blasts.

However, police claimed that no such blast took place at Doomdooma in contrast to locals’ version that a loud explosion was heard and smoke was seen at the site.

According to reports, similar kinds of blasts took place in Upper Assam during Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations.

Dibrugarh SP Sreejith Tiraviam said, “Over-ground workers of ULFA-I were involved in the blasts. We have picked up 10 people from Dibrugarh district. Eight were from Dibrugarh and two were from Duliajan. Our interrogation is on.”

Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal termed the blast as a “cowardly act” and sought the people’s support to strengthen democracy.

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com