Ten grenades found at Guwahati railway station

August 5th, 2010 - 8:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Aug 5 (IANS) A major terrorist attack may have been foiled Thursday with security forces recovering 10 powerful hand grenades from a platform at the Guwahati railway station in Assam, officials said.
A police spokesperson said the grenades were concealed in a packet and found unattended at platform No. 4 by security forces on a routine search operation.

“The grenades were neatly packed with a polythene wrapper and we presume militants who brought the grenades left the packet, unable to take it past the security cordon put up at the railway station as part of normal drill,” a senior police official said.

Police said the grenades were definitely intended for triggering violent attacks in the run up to the Independence Day in Assam’s main city of Guwahati.

“We suspect it could be either the ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom) or the NDFB (National Democratic Front of Bodoland) who could have asked their bombers to bring in explosives to Guwahati ahead of Aug 15 to strike in the city,” the official said.

“Probably the consignment came in a train from somewhere and after getting down at the station, the militants probably realised they could be caught by security personnel carrying out frisking and checking belongings at the exit and entry points.”

Another grenade was also recovered from outside the police chief’s office in Goalpara district of western Assam.

“A maximum security alert has been sounded across Assam with intelligence inputs that militants were planning major strikes ahead of Aug 15,” the official said.

Militants in the insurgency-hit northeast have for years been boycotting India’s Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations to protest New Delhi’s rule over the vast region rich in oil, tea and timber.

The run-up to the events has always been violent, with rebels striking vital installations including crude oil pipelines, trains and road and rail bridges, besides targeting federal soldiers.

On Aug 15, 2004, 12 people were killed, most of them schoolchildren, in a powerful landmine explosion in Dhemaji town in eastern Assam, minutes before the national flag was unfurled.

The outlawed ULFA was blamed for the explosion.

Last week, six paramilitary troopers were killed and about 45 injured in a landmine explosion in Goalpara district.

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