Demow blast: 8 arrested; Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia announced for victims’ kin

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Traders of Demow observe day long shut down to protest against killing

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Nov 23: Police have arrested eight persons, including a surrendered ULFA activist in connection with Thursday’s explosion at a hardware shop at Demow Chariali in Upper Assam’s Sivasagar district.

Two persons- the owner of the shop Kamal Agarwalla and a customer Anup Gupta died when suspected ULFA(I) extremist triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in front of the hardware shop on Thursday evening.

Anup Gupta died on the spot while Kamal Agarwalla succumbed to his injuries at Assam Medical College and Hospital in Dibrugarh.

Those who have been rounded up by police are: Bedanta Nath, Pankaj Bora, Nitul Hazarika, Prabhat Khanikar, Kishore Patel, Jiarul Hussain Tangview, and Ijjal.

Meanwhile, Assam government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the two deceased. Besides the two deaths, several others were also injured in the explosion.

Minister of state for power Topon Kumar Gogoi on Friday met the family members of the two deceased and informed them that the state government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to each of the two families.

The money would be handed over to them by Friday itself, Gogoi said. The minister also inspected the explosion spot.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the blast was triggered by an improvised explosive devise (IED) and not a grenade as initially reported, District deputy commissioner Pallav Gopal Jha told reporters.

Security measures in the district have been intensified, Jha C said.

The needle of suspicion was towards the ULFA(I) led by Paresh Baruah. Meanwhile, upper Assam additional director general of police (ADGP), RP Meena reached the spot and started the investigation.

Local traders have called for a total shut down in the Upper Assam town on Friday to register their protest against the killing.

According to sources, two months back Manglu Agarwalla, younger brother of Kamal Agarwalla, assisted police to nab two ULFA-I linkman from Demow petrol pump when they came to collect extortion money from Manglu Agarwalla.

After the incident police protection was given to Manglu Agarwalla. Kamal Agarwalla was very popular among the people in Demow and had a very good relationship with the local people.

 

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