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Little-known outfit claims responsibility for Assam blast

NARROW ESCAPE:Villagers take a look at the derailed coaches of the Guwahati-Puri Express at Dhatkuchi in Assam's Lower Kamrup district, 70 km from Guwahati, on Monday.— Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar

NARROW ESCAPE:Villagers take a look at the derailed coaches of the Guwahati-Puri Express at Dhatkuchi in Assam's Lower Kamrup district, 70 km from Guwahati, on Monday.— Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar  

93 passengers were injured in the derailment caused by the explosion

A little-known militant outfit, the Adivasi People's Army, has claimed responsibility for Sunday's blast that derailed some coaches of the Guwahati-Puri Express near Rangiya in Lower Assam's Kamrup district.

Assam's Environment and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain informed the Assembly on Monday that 93 persons were injured in the derailment caused by the blast which suspected militants triggered with an improvised explosive device.

A caller claiming to be R.U. Soren and identifying himself as an area commander of the outfit told private television news channels that his group carried out the blast. On June 17, the outfit claimed it had planted a powerful improvised explosive device in the Guwahati-bound Kanchenjungha Express. But alert personnel of the Government Railway Police detected it.

A senior intelligence officer said the Adivasi People's Army was formed recently, and had some trained cadre. He said explosives were used to trigger Sunday's blast. The police recovered a long electric wire from the site.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi inquired with him about the incident and the measures taken. He told journalists that during preliminary investigations, the police found no evidence of the involvement of the National Democratic Front of Boroland.

The Railway Ministry has ordered a probe. Balbir Singh, Commissioner of Railway Safety, Northeast Frontier Railway Circle, Kolkata, will conduct a statutory inquiry at the Rangiya office of the Divisional Railway Manager from 10 a.m. on July 13 and 14, according to a release issued by Jayanta Kumar Sarma, Public Relations Officer, Northeast Frontier Railway.

The Railways have announced an ex gratia of Rs. 1 lakh each to those who were grievously injured and a sum of Rs.10,000 to those with simple injuries. The State government has also announced like sums in compensation.

S. Hajong, Chief Public Relations Officer, Northeast Frontier Railway, said work on restoring the affected track was in full swing.

He said the unaffected coaches were brought back to Guwahati, along with the passengers. After eight more coaches were added, the train left Guwahati at 4 a.m. on Monday, taking a detour through Goalpara.

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