Cycle bomb, the latest addition to Assam’s violent insurgency

March 28th, 2008 - 1:03 pm ICT by admin  

By Syed Zarir Hussain
Guwahati, March 28 (IANS) Militants of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in Assam seem to have adopted new terror tactics with the latest being the ubiquitous bicycles converted to lethal explosives for maximum impact. Police in the textile township Sualkuchi on the outskirts of Assam’s main city Guwahati unravelled the new terror design by seizing a bicycle loaded with a range of explosives, from RDX to TNT and PETN.

“The militants stuffed explosives in the hollow steel frame of the cycle after dismantling it first. Earlier, militants concealed explosives in sacks and placed it on cycles; now this is an entirely new terror tactic and a very dangerous one too,” said Debojit Hazarika, police superintendent of the Kamrup (rural) district.

The seizure was made from an ULFA militant who confessed during interrogation that the cycle bomb was their latest terror design to inflict heavy casualties.

“A cycle parked on a roadside would definitely not be taken note of by security personnel unless one knows that their steel frames were filled with explosives,” Hazarika said.

The cycle bomb has alarmed police circles. A top police official said the ULFA was probably trying to attack VVIPs and target crowded places using it. A massive security revamp was being done, especially with the chief minister’s security.

“We are taking the chief minister’s and other VVIP security very seriously after the cycle bomb threat,” another senior police official said.

A decision was taken by the police not to allow even bicycles to move on the streets when the chief minister’s convoy passed towns and cities in view of the latest developments.

The threat was being taken seriously with the ULFA observing its 30th foundation day April 7. In the run up to such occasions, the ULFA generally demonstrates its strength by carrying out violent strikes.

“All the district police superintendents have been alerted about the cycle bomb and its implications,” G.P. Singh, deputy inspector general of Assam police, said.

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