NATIONAL

2 killed in Nalbari blast

Sushanta Talukdar

Market dominated by immigrants

ULFA denies involvement, blames NGO Police suspect IED triggered blast

GUWAHATI: Two persons were killed and at least 50 others were injured, many of them critically, in a blast which ripped a village market near Hajo in Nalbari district on Wednesday.

The blast came a day after New Delhi set three conditions for resuming the stalled peace initiative with the United Liberation Front of Asom including a direct communiqué from the outfit's commander-in-chief Paresh Barua or chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa indicating his willingness to sit for a dialogue.

It occurred around 1 p.m. as traders had just settled down for the afternoon weekly market at Bullut, dominated by immigrant settlers, eight km from Hajo town and 35 km from here.

The police suspect that the blast was caused by an IED, planted near a cycle tied to a post at the market shed.

The injured were shifted to the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital.

The ULFA denied its involvement in the blast and alleged that it was carried out by the Assam Public Works (APW) to malign the militant outfit at the behest of "occupational forces."

The APW is a non-governmental organisation, some of its members belonging to families of victims of ULFA violence.

Militant shot dead

On Tuesday night, the police shot dead a suspected ULFA militant Dip Kalita during a raid on a rented house at Nabin Nagar area. They recovered an Austrian grenade and two IEDs weighing about 10 kg, one Nokia handset and three SIM cards.

In another incident, the police shot at another militant, Tapan Roy alias Shakeel Ahmed at Bhaskar Nagar here. However, he escaped under cover of darkness.

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