GUWAHATI: Two blasts in quick succession in Guwahati left four people, including a minor girl, injured on Saturday.
The explosions occurred at a garbage dump in the busy Fancy Bazaar area of the city around 3.15 pm. The incident came close on the heels of an attack on Hindi-speaking people at Namrup in the state’s Dibrugarh district earlier this week by militants belonging to the Paresh Baruah faction of United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA). The traders in Fancy Bazaar are mostly Hindi speakers.
The district authorities claimed these were cracker blasts, but a doctor at the government-run Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital (MMCH) in the city, who treated persons injured in the blast had initially claimed that they had sustained “splinter injuries” and that he himself removed the splinters from the wounds.
Later, following the visit of senior district officials to the hospital, he retracted his statement, calling them “burn injuries”.
“These were cracker blasts. No IED or grenade exploded,” Deputy Commissioner, M Angamuthu, told Express. “I have seen their injuries. They have sustained burn injuries and not splinter injuries,” he claimed.
The joint director of the hospital also claimed that the injured sustained “superficial burn injuries”.
Angamuthu said the district authorities would probe the sequence of the incident and also urge the state’s Home Department to conduct a separate probe.
Guwahati Police Commissioner, Mukesh Agarwal, claimed that the explosions occurred after a teenager set fire to something in the garbage dump.
“He came carrying a bag. After he had set fire to something in the garbage dump, there were two explosions in quick succession. He too was injured while trying to run following the blasts. He is with us now and being interrogated,” Agarwal told reporters here.
“Prima facie they appeared to be cracker blasts. The impact was unlike a grenade or IED explosion. Forensic experts are conducting examinations to ascertain the nature of the explosions,” Agarwal added.