A five-year-old boy was killed and 22 other passengers, the driver and the assistant driver of the Kolkata-bound 2518 Garib Rath were injured when the engine, along with a power car and five passenger coaches, derailed after a blast on the track between Chautara and Gosaigaon Hat station in lower Assam's Kokrajhar district in early hours of Thursday.
The victim has been identified as Durlabh Chetia of Guwahati. His body was brought home later in the afternoon. The train left the Guwahati station at 9 p.m. on Wednesday and the blast occurred at 2.20 a.m. on Thursday.
Another blast occurred on the track at Batasipur in Sonitpur district but there was no casualty. Security forces recovered a powerful bomb from a railway bridge at Pachnoi in the district.
The National Democratic Front of Boroland (Ranjan Daimary faction) has claimed responsibility for the serial blasts on the track and warned of carrying out more such attacks. It asked the people of northeast not to undertake train journey.
In a statement issued through e-mail, Publicity and Information Secretary of the insurgent outfit B. Ohnjalu said the “Boroland Army,” carried out the blasts as it lost its patience over “randomly killing of innocent Bodo youth in the name of the NDFB and “unequal treatment” to its chief Ranjan Daimary, who is now in judicial custody.Security forces recovered four bombs in the past 24 hours. The police have urged the people to be vigilant and cautioned that Guwahati may one of the prime targets of the insurgent outfit.
The blast occurred hours after the State government sounded a red alert on Wednesday following intelligence inputs that an NDFB (Ranjan Daimary faction) hit squad has entered the State in a bid to carry out sabotage activities, including serial blasts on railway track, targeting passenger trains.
Following the State government advice, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) either cancelled or rescheduled running of several passenger trains on Wednesday night.
Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) S. Hajong said an accident relief medical team, led by Divisional Railway Manager of the Alipurduar Division, had reached the site. NFR general manager Shiv Kumar, along with senior officials, left for the accident site to supervise relief and rescue operations.
Following the blast, the NFR cancelled running of seven pairs of passenger trains on the Rangiya – Mukongselek section and another seven pairs of passenger trains on Rangiya-New Bongaigaon with effect from Thursday until further security advice. The NFR also diverted all passenger carrying trains to Kamakhya-Goalpara town-New Bongaigaon route.