7 hurt in grenade blast at Zoo Road, CM orders probe

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, May 15: At least seven people were injured, one of them seriously, in a grenade explosion in the city hours after chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal reviewed the law and order situation in a high-level meeting on Wednesday.

The injured have been admitted to the hospital. The incident took place near Zoo Road outside a branch of Punjab National Bank (PNB) at around 6:20 pm.

Eyewitnesses claimed that the grenade was thrown from a Tata Safari near the Guwahati Central (a shopping mall) at RGB Road.

However, the intelligence reports suggested that the grenade was thrown by the attackers in panic. The injured have been admitted to the hospital. There was heavy police checking following intelligence inputs about United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) planning to carry out an attack, sources said.

High alert has been sounded in the city following the blast. All entry and exit routes have been put under surveillance. Police officials say it is too early to comment on who is responsible for the blast. There were not many people at the blast site due to the nation-wide trade union strike on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, ULFA(I) C-in-C Paresh Baruah claimed the responsibility of the blast and said, “It was an attack on security personnel.” On the other hand, chief minister Sarbanada Sonowal condemned the incident and directed Assam Police director general Kuladhar Saikia to book the culprits immediately.

Condemning the incident, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president and Rajya Sabha member Ripun Bora said it was a cowardice act of the militants. It was also a failure of the BJP—led government in Assam to deal with the law and order situation,” Bora said in a statement here

Sonowal reviews security law and order

Sonowal, meanwhile, called upon the top brass of Assam Police to mull strategies for each police district of Guwahati in order to put a tab on criminal activities and provide security to every city dweller.

Chairing a high level review meeting with the top brass of the home department including police, Sonowal made it categorically clear that a fool-proof security cover should be made stronger in Guwahati to curb criminal activities and provide security to all.

He also said police must be ready to deal with any situation emanating from cyber crime and its manifestations. Sonowal also said that the cases involving women and children must be dealt with sensibly and due diligence should be given to dispose them quickly. He also said that to ensure safety, the cops of the city should go one step ahead and work on an exhaustive mapping to deal with the criminal activities sternly.

He also asked the home department to strengthen the intelligence gathering system and put in place a robust security system in the city. Though the chief minister expressed satisfaction over the prevailing law and order in the city, he however, reiterated the need of strengthening security arrangements so that everybody in the city gets a sense of security.

 

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