Assam anguished, angry, but vows to fight back terror

October 31st, 2008 - 10:19 am ICT by IANS  

Shivraj PatilGuwahati, Oct 31 (IANS) Assam woke up Friday with a steely resolve to fight back terror with people anguished, but not shattered, over the serial bombings that killed 71 people and wounded 300 more Thursday. “We need to fight terror hand in hand with the security forces and go about doing our normal work or else terrorists would get the upper hand,” said Jiban Kakoti, an elderly citizen, as he glanced through one of the blast sites in Assam’s main city of Guwahati while on his ritualistic morning walk.

It was a black Thursday for Assam with the state rocked by a wave of bombings - 12 blasts in quick succession - six in Guwahati, and the remaining six in the three western districts of Barpeta, Kokrajhar, and Bongaigaon.

“We are not going to be cowed down by terrorists. Not at all,” said Nirmal Gogoi, a young college student, with a determined look on his face as he made a quick survey of another blast site here.

Charred vegetables, twisted car metal and a carpet of shattered glass lay scattered in Ganesguri area in downtown Guwahati Friday morning.

“Oh God, this is unbelievable, heartbreaking,” cried a young businessman in the area who was consoled by some of his friends to pluck courage to fight back terror.

“I feel like I am lost. Everything is gone,” said the businessman who lost two of his friends in Thursday’s terror run in the city.

Medics, firefighters, police and soldiers worked throughout the night attending to scores of survivors.

“We are doing our best to help the injured although the condition of many of the victims is critical,” said a doctor at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital.

Elsewhere in the state where terrorists struck with a vengeance, people pledged to fight terror by coming out to start the day.

“Life has to go on and we cannot simply stay inside,” said Bishiram Bodo, a community elder in Kokrajhar.

Blackened grocery items showed the fierceness of the fire the blast ignited, and a few bicycles and cars still smoldered Friday as people surveyed the area and spat venom at the dastardly act of terror.

“The government should catch hold of the culprits and hang them,” said a visibly angry Nupur Sharma, a retired police official, in Barpeta district.

While there was anger in the eyes of the people, police investigators were trying to piece together evidence from the blast sites.

“We cannot comment on anything now,” said a National Security Guards (NSG) detective in Guwahati. A seven-member elite NSG team arrived Thursday evening to help in the investigations.

“We are determined to fight back and ensure security to the people of Assam,” said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil is arriving in Guwahati later Friday to take stock of the situation.

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