Pioneer, 2 oct., 2008
Foreign forces behind Agartala blasts, say cops
Syed Zarir Hussain n Guwahati
Tripura Government officials on Thursday said foreign terrorists could be behind the serial bombings in the capital city of Agartala in which about 100 people were injured.
“The involvement of foreign hands is not ruled out,” Tripura Police chief Pranay Sahai told journalists. “We would not like to divulge any details now as investigations are in a preliminary stage.”
Five explosions in crowded markets and a bus station in Agartala on Wednesday night left about 100 people wounded, about 10 of them critically. The police initially said two people were killed in the blasts, but on Thursday the police chief denied any deaths.
India’s elite National Security Guards (NSG) and forensic experts found traces of ammonium nitrate in the explosives used in Wednesday’s serial blasts. “Ammonium nitrate mixed with fuel and iron pellets were used as ingredients for triggering the explosions,” the police chief said.
“The nature of the blasts and explosives used were similar to the serial bombings recently in New Delhi.”
The Government on Thursday sounded a maximum alert across the State and has put security forces in strength along Tripura’s border with Bangladesh.
Tripura shares a 856 km-long border with Bangladesh, a vast stretch still unfenced. “Security forces have been put on a state of high alert and all measures taken to identify the culprits or group involved in the bombings,” police spokesman Nepal Das said.
“We are committed to tackling terrorism with a firm hand,” Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said. This is the first time Tripura is witnessing urban terrorism with local tribal militant groups not known for triggering explosions and simply indulge in hit-and-run guerrilla strikes. “Definitely this form of urban terrorism is something new to Tripura,” Das said.
Wait and see.